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One of your best weapons against tooth decay and other dental problems is your toothbrush. Moreover, brushing your teeth at least twice a day is recommended to keep your teeth healthy and strong. Because your toothbrush helps in protecting your teeth against plaque buildup and tooth decay causing bacteria, it is important to properly maintain its condition. In doing so, you can continue using your toothbrush while ensuring that it functions properly the way it is designed to.
Always use a clean toothbrush
Initially, when you buy a toothbrush, it is clean and safe to use. However, as soon as you start using it daily, it can collect germs. Remember, your mouth is home to millions of germs, even those living in the plaque on your teeth. These germs and your toothbrush will have direct contact every day. After brushing your teeth, your mouth and teeth will feel clean but your toothbrush will now carry the germs and residues. The amount of germs your toothbrush will keep accumulating so it is always hygienic to clean your toothbrush regularly.
Apart from the germs in your mouth, your toothbrush might also be stored in the bathroom where bacteria can be present. While it is not believed that these germs can pose a risk to your health, it is still important to clean your toothbrush in order for you to maintain good oral hygiene. After all, why brush your teeth when your toothbrush is dirty and not effective in brushing those germs from your teeth anyway? So, here are ways on how to maintain your toothbrush properly including:
- Wash your hands before brushing your teeth. Wash your hand with soap and water for at least 20 seconds just to be sure it is clean before you touch your toothbrush. Your hands can possibly transmit bacteria and viruses so make sure to wash them.
- Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly and store it properly. While using tap water, make sure you remove any food particles, debris and toothpaste from your toothbrush. When storing it, make sure it is in an upright position to air dry it. The bacteria on your toothbrush are anaerobic which means they die when there is oxygen. Also, make sure you store them in an open space because closed containers can be a breeding ground for germs.
- Disinfect your toothbrush. The most basic method to sanitize your toothbrush is to run hot water on its bristles. You can do this before and after use. Or if a hot water rinse doesn’t seem enough, soak it in antibacterial mouthwash. Soak for about 2 minutes after each brushing.
- Know when to replace your toothbrush. Generally, you are required to replace your toothbrush every three to four months. You can also consider replacing your toothbrush after you suffer from a cold or flu to prevent reinfection or spreading it to the rest of the family.
Your toothbrush can accumulate bacteria from your mouth so it is important that you know how to maintain and keep it in its best condition – after all, your toothbrush is essential to your oral health.