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How to Care for your Toothbrush.


Having a toothbrush that is in good shape is extremely important in helping achieve and maintain a healthy mouth. So today we want to share with you guys a few helpful tips on how to properly take care of your toothbrush to help keep you and your pearly whites clean and healthy.


1. Rinse your Toothbrush thoroughly.

This may seem very obvious, but I've noticed that many of my family members do not take the time to properly rinse their toothbrush after they are done brushing. We suggest that you place your brush under running water and run your thumb across the bristles for about 15 seconds. This will help remove excess toothpaste and food debris that may be stuck in between your bristles, preventing the bristles from sticking together and allowing for a better cleaning next time you use it.


2. Do NOT store your Toothbrush in a drawer or cabinet.

Growing up my mom told us to place our toothbrushes in a drawer to "prevent them from getting dirty", it wasn't until I was a teenager that our dental hygienist informed us that "storing the brush in a drawer, a cabinet or any other non-ventilated place was not a good idea". The concern with storing your toothbrush is that there is a good chance that the bristles wont dry. Moist or wet bristles will allow the bacteria that remains on them to grow and multiply, but allowing your toothbrush to air-dry completely can prevent most of this bacteria from thriving since exposing bacteria to oxygen can kill them. Placing your toothbrush in an upright position in a ventilated area is the best way to allow the bristles to completely dry before your next use.


3. Do NOT share your toothbrush with anyone!

This also seems like an obvious thing not to do, but you'll be surprised the amount of couples that share toothbrushes (especially when they travel). The American dental association advices that you do not share your toothbrush with anyone as this may result in the transmission of bacteria and other microorganisms. Just imagine what can happen if one of the persons sharing a toothbrush is sick...


4. Cover your toothbrush's bristles when you travel.

A toothbrush cover or case is a good way to keep the bristles free of dirt, dust and any other debris. You may be thinking "won't covering your toothbrush when you travel prevent the bristles from drying?"... and this is partially true. You'll find that many toothbrush cover have holes or openings to allow for some air ventilation, but from personal experience this doesn't always allow the bristles to completely dry. We suggest rinsing your toothbrush properly, drying it with as much as possible with a clean towel and waiting as long as you can before placing it inside the cover and into your bag or suitcase.


5. Replace your toothbrush periodically.

Knowing when its time to replace your toothbrush is extremely important. An old toothbrush that has bent bristles is much less effective at removing plaque from your pearly whites. We have several patients that only replace their toothbrush after every cleaning appointment (6 months) when we give them a new one with their goody bag. We constantly have to remind them the importance of replacing their toothbrush every 3 or 4 months or sooner if the bristles become frayed as recommended by the ADA. This also applies to brush heads of sonic toothbrushes and oscillating toothbrushes, so make sure you replace those as well.


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