• How Clean is Your Toothbrush?

  • Oklahoma City dentist-toothbrush careYou clean your kitchen, your bathrooms, your carpet.  You do laundry, take a shower, wash your car, and dust your furniture.  However, do you ever think about cleaning your toothbrush?  Your Oklahoma City dentist, Dr. Heath, often reminds his patients of the importance of a clean mouth and routine dental exam.  In addition to oral hygiene, it is wise to start with a germ-free toothbrush.

    Toothbrush Packaging

    At present, companies are not required to package toothbrushes in a sterilized manner.  While it may not be that big of a deal to you, think about the other hands that are touching that toothbrush before you use it.  It gets packaged at a factory, boxed up for shipping, unboxed at the store, and possibly touched by someone who considers buying it.  That’s a lot of hands touching the brush that will soon end up in your mouth.

    Spreading Germs

    Even if you clean your brush upon opening the package, now let’s think about your routine.  Do you wash your hands before picking up a toothbrush?  What day to day germs make it on to that handle or brush?  The point is not to scare, but to add awareness to your brushing routine.  Many germs and illnesses pass through your mouth by way of your hands, and with cold and flu season upon us, our Oklahoma City dentist staff has a few tips on keeping your toothbrush clean.  Any one of these suggestions will keep your toothbrush in good shape.

    Tips for a Clean Toothbrush

    1. Run it through the dishwasher every 2 months to sterilize the brush
    2. Rinse your brush with hot water after every use
    3. Store the brush upright though not touching other brushes
    4. Clean your toothbrush holder every week
    5. Keep your toothbrush away from the toilet
    6. Soak the bristles in antibacterial mouthwash for 10 minutes every 2 weeks (don’t reuse the mouthwash for soaking or swishing)
    7. Wash your hands before using your toothpaste, toothbrush, or floss

    The tips will keep your toothbrush clean without overdoing it.  It is not necessary to sterilize the brush after every use as the natural bacteria in your mouth helps boost your immune system.  However, after an illness, it is important to clean your brush to prevent spreading the virus.

    Other suggestions from our Oklahoma City dentist are to disinfect your bathroom countertops regularly and never share a toothbrush.  Replace your brush every 4 months or when your brush’s bristles are showing wear and tear.

    A properly cleaned toothbrush is as important as your regular oral hygiene regimen and dental exam.  If you need to schedule your exam, give us a call.  We’re happy to discuss proper toothbrush care and your oral hygiene routine if you have any questions.  For more topics on improving your oral health, follow us on social media.