Has the era of the toothbrush passed? Of course not! It’s still one of the best tools available to fight against the harmful agents that seek to cause havoc to your mouth, teeth and gums. There is a time and place for everything to be used, though. That means that given that there’s a flu epidemic going on around the country, it’s especially important that you realize when your toothbrush should be “put out to pasture.” Otherwise, you’ll be setting yourself up for problems. As you continue reading your dentist of Richardson will explain how to determine the right time to toss your toothbrush and other ways to prevent dental maladies.
When to Discard Your Toothbrush
There are two occasions when your toothbrush should definitely be tossed. One of them is after 90 days of use and the other is following a sickness. And this all comes down to bacteria. Although they are necessary to the health of our entire bodies, they can be equally as bad. With that established, the kind that grow on your toothbrush during prolonged use and when you’re sick will only do you harm.
So to prevent the reoccurrence of an illness or the other nasty effects that come along with the increased presence of bacteria like oral infection, cavities, gum disease and other maladies, it’s highly recommended that you get a new brush.
Alternatives for Eliminating Bacteria
Although the periods highlighted above for discarding your toothbrush should be adhered to, there are several options available to fight bacteria during the suggested time span of use, including:
- Keep away from toilets – If your toothbrush is near your toilet, you could be getting all types of bacteria spread to it because when you flush, the tiny particles can travel up to five feet. So it’s best to lower the toilet seat lid before discarding waste and keep your brush far away.
- Store upright – Storing your toothbrush upright allows it to dry better and prevent the growth of bacteria.
- Exposed to the air – It’s important that your brush be allowed to breathe, meaning that any type of covering is a definite no-no. That’s because bacteria love closed off spaces to hide and grow, which is why they also love your mouth.
- Rinse thoroughly – Another way to guard against the growth of bacteria is to rinse your brush thoroughly after each use, which will remove any leftover particles that bacteria may seek to cling to.
- Keep it separate – Keeping your toothbrush separate will protect it from contacting germs that may be on another one and allow air to circulate through and around it.
- Wash hands – You don’t want to transfer germs from your hands to your mouth, so it’s important to make sure that they are clean before handling your toothbrush or touching any part of your mouth.
Now that you’re equipped with some more information, you don’t have to live in fear of bacteria but instead can feel confident that you know how to keep them under control.
About the Author
A passionate dentist, Dr. Nathan Coughlin earned his dental degree from the University of Southern California School of Dentistry. He practices at Breckinridge Dental & Orthodontics and can be reached for more information through his website.