The relatively new practice of laser dentistry comes with a host of new terms that patients may not be familiar with. This comprehensive glossary provides definitions for conditions that lasers can treat, the four different types of lasers and other important items related to this type of treatment. Canker sore: This is a small lesion on…
Oral Hygiene Tips: How To Properly Store Your Family’s Toothbrushes
Oral hygiene is important to everyone, no matter how old you are. Even though you have had your teeth for years, you still might not know all the techniques that will keep your smile healthy for years to come. One important tool of the trade is your toothbrush. Learn how to properly store it and the rest of your family’s toothbrushes.
The right way to store your toothbrush
How someone stores a toothbrush can have a major impact on the person’s oral hygiene and dental health. It is important to know where to store it, how to store it and when it is time to get a new one.
Rinse it off
Before putting the toothbrush away for the morning or evening, it is important to make sure that it is properly rinsed off. Tap water is fine to use, and it should be a thorough cleaning. Do not leave any debris or toothpaste on the bristles of the brush. This will prevent bacteria from forming.
Keep it upright
When done rinsing off a toothbrush, the person using it should always make sure to store it in an upright position in a cup or a holder. This will allow water to drain away from the toothbrush head.
Keep it in the open
The toothbrush needs to air dry completely. It needs to have access to decent air circulation. Never store it in a small drawer or a cabinet, even when it is not in use. If the toothbrush stays wet, it will allow room for bacteria to grow. The bacteria can enter a person’s mouth the next time they brush. This can cause a cycle of reinfection if the person has a cold, sore throat or a canker sore.
Keep toothbrushes by themselves
Families should never store toothbrushes right next to each other. Bacteria that formed on one toothbrush can cross over onto another one. This means that if a family member is sick, the illness can transfer via toothbrush heads.
Avoid toilets and sinks
People should avoid leaving toothbrushes too close to the sink. It can get splashed with soapy or dirty water when a family member is washing their hands. Keep all toothbrushes at least three feet away from the toilet.
Consider traveling cases
When someone is out on the road, it is important the person makes sure the traveling bag is not too tightly holding the toothbrush. It still needs room to breathe and dry thoroughly after each use.
There are toothbrush sanitizers that can hold a toothbrush. There is no evidence that this will increase a person’s oral hygiene. However, it does allow for a clean zone for storing the toothbrush when it is not in use.
Know when to toss it
If the bristles on a toothbrush are splayed or showing wear, it is time to get a new one. This usually needs to happen about every three months. People should also replace toothbrushes after recovering from a cold or other illness.
Improve oral hygiene with toothbrush tips
If you are already storing your toothbrush correctly, good job. If you have not been following these guidelines on how and where to store it, you can begin incorporating these tips immediately. Having clean and well-maintained toothbrushes for you and your family can improve your oral health. Talk to a dentist about other tips for good oral hygiene.