Have you ever considered that they way you store your toothbrush could impact your oral health? Even the most disciplined tooth brushing habits can be sabotaged if you are not aware of some important toothbrush storage tips. In order to learn how to properly store your toothbrush, you must first understand a simple, yet key rule when it comes to your toothbrush and bacteria. In addition to regular dental cleanings, the primary purpose in brushing our teeth every day, twice a day, is to eliminate harmful bacteria in the mouth. If bacteria is not welcome in a healthy mouth, it should certainly not be welcome on your toothbrush when you are not using it. Simply put, when storing your toothbrush, it is essential that you keep bacteria away. Here are some easy storage tips to follow to keep your toothbrush, and your mouth, clean:
- After meeting your 2-minute quota of brushing time, you may be anxious to just spit and go. Instead, make sure you take the time to thoroughly rinse your toothbrush with tap water to wash away any toothpaste or debris.
- Store it Upright and Open
- Place your toothbrush in a holder or cup in an upright position to ensure it dries well. Bacteria loves moisture. So by keeping your toothbrush in the open, not in a cabinet or drawer, you are allowing adequate air space to keep bacteria growth away. In addition, avoid putting a cap on your toothbrush after each use – save the cap for the toothpaste.
- Keep a Distance
- Store your toothbrush away from other toothbrushes and keep it at least 3 feet away from the toilet. Toothbrushes that touch each other in the same holder can actually cross contaminate bacteria and germs. In terms of the toilet distance, a toothbrush that is close to the toilet may be at risk for the “aerosol effect” – or airborne transmission of germs from a toilet flush.
- Let it Go
- If it has been three months or if you notice your toothbrush has fraying bristles, it is time to let it go and invest in a new toothbrush. Again, do not sabotage your faithful brushing by trying to do the job with a damaged tool. It is also a good idea to replace your toothbrush if you recently had a cold or other virus.
A healthy mouth always starts at home, from the proper diet to adequate brushing and flossing habits. Be sure you are taking all the necessary steps to keep bacteria away from your mouth, which includes not only brushing the right way but properly storing your toothbrush as well. Park South Dentistry has a friendly dental staff that is dedicated to helping you find the most effective ways to care for your teeth at home.