Importance of toothbrush care

Stop and think: When is the last time you replaced your toothbrush? If you cannot remember, then you are long overdue.

Your toothbrush is a tool designed to help clean your mouth. Yet, if your toothbrush is not clean it cannot do a very good job. Your dentist gives you a new toothbrush at every dental visit because s/he knows how important it is to clean your mouth with a clean tool. You do not pick up a dirty, stinky towel to off with after a clean shower, do you? No, because that would spoil the cleanliness that you just achieved. Yet, if you are using an old toothbrush, you are putting a dirty object inside your mouth and foolishly expecting it to clean your teeth.

It is important that you rinse your toothbrush off well after each use. Your toothbrush helps to loosen bacteria-laden plaque from your teeth as well as food particles that become stuck while eating. If you do not rinse your toothbrush well, these are all left behind to rot on your toothbrush. Do you really want to put that back in your mouth?

It is important to let your toothbrush air dry in an upright position. Being upright allows your toothbrush to dry faster and help to kill any lingering bacteria.

It is important to store your toothbrush away from the toilet. Every time you flush the toilet, overspray is released into the air and will land on anything in its path. You do not want your toothbrush to be in the path of toilet overspray! Yuck.

It is important to replace your toothbrush after any type of illness. Cold, flu, stomach virus, strep throat, and other germs can linger for up to 10 days on most surfaces. By replacing your toothbrush after you have been sick, you will protect yourself from re-infection.

It is important to replace your toothbrush every 6 months. It is not a coincidence that this is the time frame for visiting your dentist. Using a clean tool is vital for cleaning your teeth, gums, and tongue. While the above steps are important, bacteria will build up and linger over time. Replacing your toothbrush is important so that you are effectively maintaining your oral health.

Contact Thousand Oaks Dentistry today to schedule an appointment for a cleaning and exam. We promise to have a new toothbrush ready for you!