We all clean our teeth with tooth brushes, but how do you clean the tooth brush that cleans your teeth?
Tooth brushes get used cleaning your teeth at least two time daily, and we should all be using toothpaste and water with our brushing. Afterward, we rinse our mouth out and clean our toothbrush under running tap water, shaking off any excess water and then keep the toothbrush upright, allowing it to air dry until next time. Such a cleaning routine is usually adequate for a healthy person. It is good to know however that any toothbrush can harbor millions of bacteria at any given time. The oral cavity itself harbors hundreds of different kinds of microbes and bacterial organisms, which inevitably become transferred onto the toothbrush as you clean your teeth. Most bathrooms also harbor lots of bacteria, which can transfer to your brush if the brush head is contacting any not-so-clean surfaces or another toothbrush. Should you be concerned with sanitizing your tooth brush?
Thankfully, our immune defense mechanism protects against offending microbes, and most bacteria on your tooth brush will pose no health risk to you. Don’t be germ phobic, but it is always good to have few more pointers under your belt regarding how you can keep a cleaner toothbrush. Do not share a toothbrush! Wash your toothbrush before and after each use. It is important to clear all bristles of any remaining toothpaste or food debris to prevent excess bacteria from forming. If you are sick, it’s a good idea to soak your toothbrush in a 3% (standard over-the-counter) solution of hydrogen peroxide for 5-10 minutes to sterilize your cleaning tool. Also, it’s a good idea to have several toothbrushes at your disposal, dried and cleaned and ready to go – rotating toothbrushes can increase their longevity. When storing your toothbrush, make sure to have adequate ventilation to prevent molding or bacteria from forming.
My last tip is to take a good look at your your brush: if the ends of bristles bend , get a new one! Normally, the life span of a is 3 to 4 months; if you have an electric toothbrush check the shape of the bristles (it might be time to replace the brush heads). It’s always easier to stock up a few brushes to assure you’ll always have a good toothbrush available to keep your oral hygiene up to snuff. A clean mouth makes you feel refreshed and keeps your body healthy!