Ahhh….fresh breath and clean teeth. Starting your day with a thorough brushing is something we all do, but have you ever considered how clean that toothbrush is that you just put in your mouth? Sure you likely rinse it between brushings, but guess what? That’s actually not enough.
Your toothbrush can be a breeding ground for bacteria and microorganisms that it’s picked up from your mouth, the air, and even other nearby toothbrushes. Yuck!
While you’re probably not feeling like your mouth is so fresh and clean anymore, not to worry. Here are some tips to keep your toothbrush, and your teeth, in tip-top shape.
How to Clean a Toothbrush (and Keep it That Way!)
Pre-rinse Your Toothbrush
Run the bristles of your brush under hot water before you use it, not just after.
Prepare Your Mouth
Rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash recommended by your dentist before brushing. This will reduce the number of bacteria you introduce to your brush.
Deep Clean Daily
While you’ve got the mouthwash out, pour some in a little cup and place your brush head down into it, letting it soak for 3-5 minutes after each use.
Hygiene Hack: You can also do this with hydrogen peroxide. Just be sure to rinse your toothbrush before using it again.
Dip Your Brush in Boiling Water
Put a pot of water on the stove and bring it to a boil. Turn the heat off, and then dip the head of your brush in and keep it there for 2-3 minutes. Works like a charm! (Make sure to let your toothbrush cool off before using again.)
Run Your Toothbrush Through the Dishwasher
That’s right, just as you clean other utensils that frequent the inside of your mouth, you can stick your toothbrush in the silverware section of your dishwasher to get it as clean as your spoons and forks! If you do this, though, you may want to run the dishwasher on a lower temp to avoid melting or warping your brush’s plastic handle.
Use a UV Sanitizer
Although not the cheapest option, this is an investment that certainly pays off! UV sanitizers kill bacteria by the millions in just minutes. In fact, they’re so effective at killing germs, even hospitals rely on UV sanitation. Talk about an endorsement for clean!
How to Store a Toothbrush
Now that you’ve got your toothbrush nice and clean, it’s just as important to store it correctly in order to keep it that way. While you may be tempted to cover it for protection, doing so can actually make things worse by inviting mold and bacteria in rather than keeping it out! If you do choose to use a cover, make sure it offers ventilation to allow air to circulate. This will prevent bacteria growth from coming to the party.
Better yet, simply store your toothbrush upright in a rack or cup so the bristles can dry out properly between uses.
Also, make sure to store your toothbrush away from others, and for the love of sanitary conditions, never share (not even with significant others)! Doing so not only sets you up to swap saliva and transfer germs but also makes you more prone to picking up an infectious illness or even disease like tooth decay. Nothing romantic about that!
When to Replace a Toothbrush
It is recommended to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months, however there are instances in which it’s time to break out a new brush sooner.
Frayed? Say Farewell!
If the bristles are excessively frayed, that means they are unable to effectively clean and a goodbye is in order. Out with the old and in with the new!
Sick? Say So Long!
You should also get rid of your toothbrush if you’ve been sick or if your toothbrush has been around the brush of somebody else who has been sick.
Clean Brush. Clean Teeth.
A clean toothbrush is just as important as regular teeth cleaning and care. At Mogren Dental, we’ve got you covered! Schedule your appointment today for a thorough cleaning and get a fresh, new toothbrush to take home (and keep clean!). Call 231-737-5500 today or connect with us online.