It is definitely common sense that what you put in your mouth should be clean because no one wants to be sick and we all try to do our best to prevent sources of infection from getting the best of us. The more we keep out, the less chance of getting sick. One of the things that can be overlooked as a potential source of infection is our toothbrush.
Your toothbrush is designed to be used to clean your teeth and not be a source of potentially infectious bacteria or viruses. Here are some helpful tips!
- Wash your hands with soap and water before brushing your teeth
- After brushing, put the toothbrush under running water to rinse away any remaining toothpaste and residue. Use your thumb if needed to flick away any bit of toothpaste that sticks to the bristles.
- After rinsing, tap your toothbrush against the sink bowl or shake with your hand and wrist to shake off excess water
- Store your toothbrush upright so it’s in open air and not touching any surface or another toothbrush. This way, the bristle end of the toothbrush is not contaminated by whatever surface it is resting on. This also improves the chances the bristles will dry, which is good as many bacteria need a wet environment to live.
- Keep your toothbrush away from your toilet and/or close the lid on the toilet when flushing if it is nearby to the sink where the toothbrush is stored.
- Change toothbrushes when you’ve been ill. This makes sure you don’t recycle the germs the old toothbrush might have picked up!
- Change toothbrushes every three months, or whenever the bristles are frayed. Kids with orthodontic equipment need more frequent toothbrush replacements. But if your child seems to wear down toothbrushes too fast, you might want to check if he/she brushes too hard.
- Get a steripod. This is a toothbrush cover that still allows the toothbrush to dry out and protects it from bacteria or viruses in the air. It contains thymol to help clean but the effectiveness of this aspect of it is less helpful than the physical barrier.
- For maintenance of more expensive electric toothbrush heads you may consider a UV light sterilizer. This may be overkill for the typical manual toothbrush as the UV sterilizers aren’t cheap. But, electric toothbrush head replacements are more pricey so it may be a good solution for keeping these toothbrushes fresh for longer.
About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan, the offices of Drs. Plunkett, Ralstrom, Makowski, Thanasas, Ker, and Associates
Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan have specialized in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics since 1968. Our family-friendly and newly renovated office gives patients and families a more comfortable and consistent experience with dentistry from the very beginning. Our pediatric dentists treat children from newborn to 18 years of age while our orthodontists provide care for both children and adults and are proud to be Premier Providers of Invisalign and Invisalign Teen services. The ability to treat all patients with compassion and individuality, including those that may have special needs reaches beyond our facility, which has treatment rooms available for children who require additional privacy and customized care options. We pioneered valued hospital affiliations to allow dental services to be performed at DMC Children’s Hospital and St. John Macomb Hospital, when appropriate or necessary, and our specialists are also proud to be on staff at Henry Ford and Beaumont hospitals.