Germs are everywhere; we can’t avoid them. Anything we do or anything we touch; germs will be there. But there is one thing which must be completely free of all types of germs; your toothbrush. Naturally, no one would want to put anything dirty in their mouths. By making sure that you keep your toothbrush clean and free of germs, you can prevent chances of development of teeth cavities and other types of dental problems. Here are some tips that can help you in keeping your toothbrush squeaky clean.
1. Never Share your Toothbrush
You may share a lot of things with your loved ones and family members, but a toothbrush is not something which should be shared with anyone. Each member of your family must have their own toothbrush. This will prevent cross-contamination and minimize the chances of development of communicable dental infections.
2. Don’t Keep Them Together
It’s not a good idea to store toothbrushes of all your family members at a single place.
3. Wash your Hands
We come across millions of germs each day. Even if you are using a clean and germ-free toothbrush by not sharing with anyone, if you don’t wash your hands, the bacteria present on your hands can travel to the toothbrush and your oral cavity and cause infections. Therefore, it’s always a good idea, not just before brushing your teeth but before eating or drinking anything. This will reduce the chances of transfer of bacteria from our hands to the oral cavity.
4. Rinse your Toothbrush
When you have brushed your teeth, make sure you rinse it off properly. You can do this by placing your toothbrush under running water. Make sure you thoroughly wash off the bristles of the toothbrush, while applying gentle force with your thumb to obtain optimal cleaning. Once you’re done, you must keep your toothbrush in an upright position to remove the moisture. You must make sure that you buy a toothbrush holder which allows free airflow to ensure complete drying of the bristles of the toothbrush.
5. Disinfect your Toothbrush
Even if you keep your toothbrush completely dry, you still cannot be sure that it is completely germ-free. For this purpose, you must frequently disinfect your toothbrush by soaking it an antibacterial mouthwash. In case a mouthwash is not available, you can immerse it in a baking soda solution. You can also use denture cleaning solutions or tablets for this purpose. Some ultraviolet (UV) sanitizers are also available to disinfect toothbrushes.
6. Keep your Toothbrush Away from the Toilet
Make sure you keep your toothbrush as far away from the toilet as possible. This is because the airborne bacteria from the toilet can contaminate the toothbrush and cause different types of dental infections. As an enhanced preventive measure, make sure that you flush the toilet with the top lid closed down.
7. Replace your Toothbrush after an Illness
After you or anyone in your family recovers from a contagious illness, they must replace their toothbrush immediately. This is because the bacterial load inside the oral cavity increases during an illness and the toothbrushes become contaminated. If you continue to use them after recovering from an illness, there are chances of cross-contamination, making your family members sick.
8. Frequently Replace your Toothbrush
Perhaps, one of the most important steps you can take to prevent cross-contamination is to replace your toothbrushes frequently. The American Dental Association recommends that you replace your toothbrush after every three to four months. However, if you feel that the bristles of your toothbrush have become frayed, then you may have to replace it earlier. Besides increased chances of contamination, frayed toothbrush bristles are unable to clean the teeth properly, thereby further increasing chances of the development of gum problems or teeth cavities.
You can’t have squeaky clean and pearly white teeth if you have unclean or contaminated brushes. You can follow the measures mentioned above to make sure that your toothbrushes do not become the culprits behind a tooth cavity or an infection.