|Dr. Alan Wishneff D.D.S.
Restorative Dentistry / Oral Health
May 23, 2017
One of the most important parts of a good oral hygiene regiment is brushing the teeth, gums and tongue. This helps to maintain a healthy mouth. So it is extremely important that you take care of your toothbrush and show it a little bit of love every once in a while.
The mouth is home to hundreds of different types of microorganisms, good and bad. These microorganisms can transfer to the toothbrush when you brush the teeth. It is important to clean the brush to remove some of these particles.
The ADA (American Dental Association) and its Council on Scientific Affairs has many recommendations for us when it comes to taking care of the toothbrush.
- Never share a toothbrush. When you share a toothbrush you risk the exchange of body fluids and/or microorganisms between the brushes. These particles can then be passed onto you and put you at risk for infection. This can be especially dangerous for people who already have a compromised immune system or existing infectious diseases.
- Make sure to thoroughly rinse the toothbrush off with tap water after brushing to remove any leftover toothpaste and debris from the mouth. Store the brush in an upright position and allow the brush to air-dry completely before using it again. If your toothbrush holder contains more than one brush make sure they are separated and not touching to prevent cross-contamination.
- Try not to cover the toothbrush or store them in closed containers. These environments become moist and are more conductive to the growth of microorganisms than in the open air.
- Replace your toothbrush at least every three to four months. With use, the bristles will become frayed and worn, making them less effective at removing debris from the teeth. Sometimes the bristles can wear down more rapidly based on usage. Check the bristles more often if you think the brush isn’t working as well and replace as needed. A child’s toothbrush usually needs to be replaced more frequently than adult brushes.
When choosing a toothbrush at the store make sure that it comes with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This seal assures you that the product has been scientifically evaluated to be safe and effective.
There has been no evidence to show that bacteria on a toothbrush can cause disease, but those who have a compromised immune system or low resistance to infection because of chemotherapy or other health issues should consider replacing their brush more often. Especially after they have been sick with a cold or flu. They can also try rinsing with an antibacterial mouth rinse before brushing or soaking the brush in an antibacterial rinse to make sure it is clean.
If you have any questions on how to best keep your toothbrush healthy, ask your dentist or dental hygienist. They will know how best to keep your mouth healthy.
For more information about this topic or any other dental topic, contact Dr.Wishneff at [email protected] or call (561) 488-3111. Dr. Alan Wishneff is a Boca Raton Dentist dedicated to bringing patients state-of-the-art dental care. As a cosmetic, family and restorative dentist, he helps patients enjoy a natural and healthy smile. He is trained in cosmetic dentistry, including porcelain veneers; advanced cosmetic bonding techniques; oral surgery; medical emergency procedures; advanced crown and bridge; advanced TMJ; implant dentistry; endodontics-root canals: utilization of most advanced dental materials. Dr, Wishneff and staff are dedicated to providing great smiles in Boca Raton for more than 30 years. After more than two decades of practicing dentistry in Boca Raton, Dr. Wishneff is more committed than ever to this community.
Image: By Henrik Abelsson Abelsson (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons