Brushing your teeth twice daily for 2 minutes is crucial to protect your teeth, but did you know that if you aren’t taking the time to properly care for your toothbrush?  You may not be protecting your teeth as well as you thought you were!

Your toothbrush is the first line of defense to protect your teeth from bacteria that can cause cavities and gum disease, so it’s important that you take good care of your toothbrush.

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Care for your Toothbrush: DO NOT …

  • Do Not place a cap on your toothbrush or put it in a container after you have used it.
    • This can prevent your toothbrush from drying and encourage bacteria growth on the toothbrush
    • The ADA recommends storing your toothbrush out in the open (as opposed to placing it in a cabinet) so it can be exposed to air and sunlight so that it dries naturally before it’s used again that night or the next morning.
  • Do Not share your toothbrush.
    • Each person has a unique set of bacteria in their mouth. If you share your toothbrush you also share your germs and bacteria which can cause cavities.
    • Whether intentional or accidental, grabbing someone else’s toothbrush (or letting them use yours) can expose your teeth, gums, and mouth to many nasty things that can lead to illness and infection.
  • Do Not keep your toothbrush near your toilet.
    • When you flush bacteria from the toilet can become airborne and end up on your toothbrush.
    • One flush of the toilet produces thousands of tiny aerosol droplets, which can contain bacteria and viruses and contaminate surfaces up to six feet away.
    • Pro Tip: close the lid before you flush!

Care for your Toothbrush: DO …

  • Store your toothbrush upright so it can dry faster
    • The best way to store toothbrushes is in an upright position near a window. Let the toothbrush air dry after each use.
    • Keep your toothbrush away from another toothbrush; keep them far apart to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3 months or sooner if the bristles are frayed
    • This goes for electric and manual toothbrushes as well
    • If you keep using an old toothbrush, it is less effective at cleaning plaque off of your teeth and at the gum line; it’s easy to see the bristles begin to bend out of shape.
  • Rinse your toothbrush with tap water and allow to air dry
    • Your toothbrush has the dirty job of removing plaque and other soft debris from the teeth, which can cause it to become contaminated with bacteria, blood, saliva, oral debris, and toothpaste; yet another reason to rinse your toothbrush thoroughly with tap water after brushing.
  • Do not pack your toothbrush for traveling until it has dried completely
    • Do Not use toothbrush covers, which can create a moist enclosed breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Replace your toothbrush if you have been sick
    • It’s an easy fix to make sure lingering bacteria doesn’t lead to reinfection.
    • Flu viruses may survive on toothbrushes for up to three days after first exposure.
    • You can disinfect your toothbrush:
      • Soak your toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide for roughly 3-5 minutes
      • Rinse out thoroughly with hot water

Related Article: The Ugly Truth About Your Toothbrush

Preventing Cavities with Luff Dental 

Preventing cavities is our goal and the main reason we wanted to chat about taking care of your toothbrush! We’re here to help you overcome any oral health challenges you or your family may be experiencing. Schedule a visit with us to discuss if this could be beneficial for your children.

Work with Dr. Luff and her team to find the most effective solution for your smile! We are always accepting new patients in the Lee’s Summit, MO and surrounding area who are ready to improve the health of their teeth, their confidence and smile! Please call Luff Dental at (816) 875-3391 to schedule your appointment.