Is your toothbrush actually keeping your mouth clean? Even if you follow your dentist’s recommendations on daily brushing and flossing, a dirty toothbrush can complicate your efforts to fight bacteria. Your toothbrush doesn’t have to look dirty to be dirty, either. In fact, a single toothbrush can actually contain over a million microscopic bacteria.
The solution to this problem is to follow best practices for cleaning and replacing your toothbrush. Here are effective ways you can get a cleaner toothbrush and improve your oral hygiene.
Wash & Dry Correctly
Basic toothbrush maintenance can help keep your toothbrush clean. After brushing your teeth, simply rinse your toothbrush with hot water. Agitate the toothbrush bristle to remove any additional paste or debris, then rinse again in cold water. Make sure you aren’t placing your toothbrush directly back into a closed case while it’s still wet. Your toothbrush needs to air-dry to avoid growing new bacteria.
Sanitize with Solution
You can sanitize your toothbrush in liquid if you need a more thorough cleaning. You can do this by dipping your toothbrush in a mixture of one teaspoon of peroxide in one cup of water. Alternatively, you can also swish your toothbrush in antibacterial mouthwash. Douse the toothbrush head and swish for at least 30 seconds before removing, then rinse with water and let air-dry.
Sanitize via UV Rays
UV sanitizers are an increasingly popular innovation for keeping your toothbrush clean. These are electronic devices that use ultraviolet rays to kill germs on your toothbrush. While UV sanitizers are highly effective at killing germs, some critics note these may also reduce the life of your toothbrush.
Replace your Toothbrush Regularly
Even the cleanest toothbrush will become ineffective over time. After months of use, the bristles will wear out and will not do their job of cleaning your teeth nearly as effectively. The experts recommend changing your toothbrush every 3-4 months to keep your bristles both clean and in working order.
Don’t Share Toothbrushes
Even if you’re comfortable sharing food, drinks, and utensils with friends and family members, it’s best not to share a toothbrush. Experts warn against this practice because sharing a toothbrush means sharing someone else’s bacteria. Some people’s gums may bleed after brushing, which means you are sharing more than saliva and could expose yourself to disease.