Most of us have been using a toothbrush since we were old enough to hold onto one and you may be asking yourself what you could possibly find out about it that you don’t already know? You may be surprised. For instance, did you know that you should rinse your toothbrush BEFORE and after brushing? Airborne bacteria and other particles like dust can settle on your toothbrush between brushings. Get in the habit of rinsing your brush under hot water while briskly rubbing the bristles back and forth both before and after brushing.
It is also important to air dry your toothbrush between brushings because most of the bacteria that cause gum disease are anaerobic, meaning they die when exposed to air. Just letting your toothbrush air dry will kill many harmful bacteria. Ventilation is the key; don’t store your toothbrush in an airtight container.
Always store your toothbrush standing upright (handle down, bristles up) to allow the brush to drain. This keeps the dirty water and particles away from the brush itself. Dr. David Babin and the dental hygienists at Babin Dentistry are happy to advise you on toothbrush care.
There is usually no need to “sanitize” your toothbrush between brushings. There is no clinical evidence to indicate that bacterial growth in a toothbrush will lead to adverse oral health effects. If you decide your toothbrush needs that extra dose of clean you can soak the head for 15 minutes in an antibacterial mouthwash (discard mouthwash after).
Don’t get too attached to your toothbrush. The Canadian Dental Association recommends you replace it every 3 months. Once the bristles start to fray and bend the brushes effectiveness is greatly reduced and it is time to bid adieu. Please visit our website for more information or contact us at Babin Dentistry in Victoria if you have any questions.