Just as a chef takes care of his knives or a firefighter her gear, we also need to take care of the number one tool meant to protect our oral health — the trusty toothbrush. If a tool malfunctions, accidents can happen. Using a dirty or frayed toothbrush can put you at risk for a variety of dental problems.
Take care of your toothbrush, and it will take care of you. Here are some ways to care for this important oral health care tool.
- Replace adult toothbrushes every three months. A child’s toothbrush needs replacing more often (every two to three months). As bristles become worn, they are less effective at cleaning teeth.
- If bristles are frayed or bent out of shape, replace the toothbrush immediately. This is necessary even if it hasn’t been used very long, and damaged bristles may be an indicator that you’re brushing too hard.
- Keep an extra toothbrush handy just in case the one you are using needs replacing.
- Rinse your toothbrush with tap water and air-dry after brushing.
- Clean your toothbrush container regularly.
- Store your toothbrush away from the toilet. WikiHow recommends keeping a distance of .61 metres between the two. Flushing can introduce contaminants into the air, causing potentially harmful bacteria to come into contact with your toothbrush.
- Share a toothbrush with anyone. Doing this increases risk of infection or disease.
- After your toothbrush is dry, store it in an enclosed container to keep it free from bacteria.
- Let two toothbrushes touch each other. This, too can also result in contamination.
- Soak in mouthwash or hot water. There is no scientifically proven evidence that these liquids are more effective than cleaning with water and air-drying. Extreme temperatures and the chemicals found in some mouthwashes can wear down bristles, making them less effective.
Brushing your teeth remains one of the best ways to preserve your oral health. Dental problems can arise from neglecting to provide your toothbrush the care and attention it needs. Check with your dentist regularly to intercept any oral care issues before they become serious. If you’re looking for a dentist in Sarnia, please call Lambton Family Dental. Make an appointment today by calling us at (519) 344-5747.