Bacteria can be found literally everywhere. It is on your phone, in your fridge and in your mouth. If your mouth can house bacteria than it is not a difficult stretch to realise that bacteria can also be found on your toothbrush. There is no reason for concern as not all bacteria is bad. The concern comes when there is an unhealthy imbalance of bacteria.
Think of your toothbrush like a dishcloth. It is an important tool in keeping your teeth clean just as the dishcloth is important for cleaning your dishes. Yet you don’t just wash your dishes and leave the dishcloth covered in muck, waiting to spread that muck to the next dish – you rinse and wash the cloth thoroughly to avoid the transfer of germs. The same thoughtfulness should be given to your toothbrush.
You need to take preventative measures to avoid bacteria build-up.
Keeping Bacteria at Bay
Choose quality – You may think all toothbrushes are created equal. They are not. Poorly designed and badly made toothbrushes can make it easier for germs to live, breed and spread. Invest in a toothbrush that has quality bristles. Look at the design and compare which design will easily release food particles. Some toothbrush bristle designs will more likely to trap food particles, creating a breeding ground for germs. Opt for quality, antibacterial designs.
After brushing – Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly, shake vigorously, and store it upright to allow it to dry thoroughly between uses. Ensure that it is not touching someone else’s toothbrush.
Know when to let it go – Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months or when it is showing signs of ageing, such as the bristles fraying or if there is a toothpaste build up. A build up of toothpaste or other debris means an equal build up of germs. The same rule applies for electric toothbrush heads.
Protecting Your Environment
Use a toothbrush cover – Most bathrooms have the sink in close vicinity to the toilet and when you flush the toilet, particles of bacteria are released into the air. You do not want your toothbrush to be where they land. Store your toothbrush far from the toilet and invest in a cover. You want a cover which is not entirely closed so that air can circulate, allowing it to air dry and avoiding moisture build-up.
Beware of breeding grounds – If you use a toothbrush holder, consider how frequently you wash it. Toothbrush holders are said to be the third largest breeding ground for germs in the home, after the dishcloth and kitchen sink. It is a set-and-forget bathroom accessory, allowing germs to grow and thrive when not cleaned regularly.
If in doubt, pop into My Dentist at Cannon Hill to stock up on quality toothbrushes. The team can also advise you on a maintenance plan and suggestions on other oral hygiene tools or accessories.
My Dentist at Cannon Hill is a general and cosmetic dentist covering Bulimba, Morningside and the surrounding suburbs. For healthier, straighter or whiter smiles, book an appointment on 07 3902 1023 or via our online contact page.