Ideally, you’re using your toothbrush at least twice a day to keep your teeth clean, your breath fresh, and your mouth free from bacteria that can cause tooth decay. But have you ever thought of the bacteria that may be getting on your brush between uses (it does live in the bathroom, after all!)? Without proper care, you could be introducing germs and bacteria into your mouth that is not only bad for your teeth, it could make you sick! In order to help you stay healthy, our dentist in Fuquay-Varina is sharing some tips on how to keep your toothbrush clean, both at home and when you travel!
Keeping Your Toothbrush Clean at Home
One of the best ways to keep bacteria off your toothbrush is simply to rinse it in warm water before you brush and again after you’re done. It’s especially important to be thorough after you brush to make sure any food particles or toothpaste residue that could breed bacteria is gone. Give it a good shake to get rid of any excess water, and put it up until it’s time to use it again.
How to Safely Store Your Toothbrush
Storing your toothbrush is where there tends to be more disagreement – some people choose to leave it out on the bathroom sink, others think it’s cleaner in a medicine cabinet or drawer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you want to keep your toothbrush out in the air and standing up upright, such as in a toothbrush holder or even a clean cup. This allows water to drain away from the bristles and airflow to circulate, drying the brush quickly, and reducing bacteria. Once a week, make sure you clean your toothbrush holder to remove any standing water from the bottom of the container.
Why not store your brush in the cabinet or a closed container? Putting it in a brush container or laying down in a drawer means the water will sit on and between the bristles, and dark, damp areas with no airflow allow bacteria to grow at rapid rates.
Dos and Don’ts for Keeping Your Brush Clean At Home
- DON’T share your toothbrush.
- DON’T let your toothbrush bristles touch someone else’s brush bristles.
- DO keep it at least two feet away from a toilet if possible.
- DO replace your brush every three months or before if you’ve been sick or you notice the bristles are frayed.
- DON’T disinfect your brush with peroxide or bleach.
- DON’T soak your brush in mouthwash or antibacterial solution.
- DO wash your hands before brushing your teeth.
Keeping Your Toothbrush Clean When You Travel
At home, it’s pretty easy to keep your toothbrush clean, but what about when you have to travel? Between the inside of your suitcase, hotel counters, and everything in between, there’s no way you can keep your brush clean, right? Generally, you’ll want to keep the same guidelines when you travel as when you are at home – storing your brush upright in a cup so it’s not laying on the counter, rinsing it before and after use, and keeping it away from the toilet are universal guidelines.
Otherwise, use a travel case with ventilation holes in it to store your toothbrush in your suitcase or carry-on. Avoid packing it while damp, and clean the case well with soap and water before storing your brush in there. If you’re worried, pick up a travel toothbrush for your journeys.
Schedule a Checkup with Our Dentist in Fuquay-Varina
When it comes to keeping your mouth healthy, brushing regularly, flossing daily, and getting regular dental checkups and professional cleanings are key! Make sure you schedule your next checkup with our dentist in Fuquay-Varina by calling 919-552-2431 or filling out our appointment request form today!