Are You Cleaning Your Toothbrush Enough?
A toothbrush is one of the most effective and time-tested tools for keeping our teeth and gums healthy. But have you ever wondered that while brushing our teeth, a toothbrush helps us remove bacteria and food deposits from our teeth and gums, but then it carries the same germs from our mouth afterward? Besides, most of us store our toothbrushes in the toilet, which is full of germs that linger in the air. Therefore, a toothbrush can serve as a safe haven for harmful bacteria, unless it is cleaned properly after use.
In this blog, Dr. Imanian from Parker Dental Center covers various techniques you can use to disinfect your toothbrush and prevent toothbrush-related infections.
1. Use Hot Water
The simplest method to disinfect a toothbrush is to run hot water over it before and after brushing. The steam generated from hot water is effective in neutralizing most of the bacteria that adhere to a toothbrush. Make sure to rinse your toothbrush again with steaming water after you have brushed your teeth.
2. Use Antibacterial Mouth rinse
Another option is to soak your toothbrush in an antibacterial mouth rinse. Simply immerse your toothbrush in a cup containing the mouth rinse for about 2 minutes and you’re good to go! However, it must be remembered that although a mouth rinse is effective in neutralizing harmful oral bacteria, it can also result in an increased wear on your toothbrush. Also, make sure to replace the mouth rinse solution regularly. Failure to do so may promote cross-infection under the right conditions.
3. Tooth Sanitizer
If the above two methods do not give you the peace of mind, you may consider investing in a UV light sanitizer. Research has shown that UV light is one of the most effective methods for disinfecting a toothbrush, compared to chlorhexidine - a common ingredient of antibacterial mouth rinses. However, a downside of UV toothbrush sanitizing chambers is their high cost.
4. Avoid Storage in Close Containers
Covering your toothbrush or storing it in a cabinet may seem like a nice idea to prevent bacterial growth, but it actually does the opposite. This is because there are higher chances of growth of certain bacteria in closed, humid, and less-ventilated areas. Also, keep your toothbrush as far from the toilet seat as possible, to prevent cross-infection.
5. Avoid Using Boiling Water
Using boiling water for cleaning your toothbrush may kill the harmful bacteria but it can also cause damage to the toothbrush itself. Hence, there is no need to use boiling water for toothbrush cleaning.
6. Replace your Toothbrush Regularly
Toothbrushes need to be replaced regularly as they become less effective over time due to the wearing of their bristles. That is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend changing your toothbrush after every 3-4 months to ensure optimal teeth and gum cleaning.
Using the right toothbrush and the correct brushing technique, in addition to visiting your dentist regularly for preventive dentistry treatment, can go a long way in keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Remember, your dentist can diagnose dental problems even before they cause pain or become visible. So, book an appointment with us today and let us give you a healthy and lasting smile.