Toothbrush Care 101 by Dr. Santos

family dentist in seaside

If you’re a patient of Dr. Scott Santos, family dentist in Seaside, you know brushing and flossing your teeth every day is essential. But are you aware that it’s important to take care of your toothbrush as well? Every toothbrush needs proper care so that it can clean your teeth effectively. Here are some simple steps you can take to keep your toothbrush shipshape and ready to do its job. If you’re searching for a dentist in my area, Dr. Santos, a renowned dentist in my area, is ready to help you maintain excellent oral health.

Protect your toothbrush

Brushing forcefully doesn’t just damage your tooth enamel (aka the outer coating that protects your teeth from harmful oral bacteria) it can also damage your toothbrush. That’s because putting a lot of pressure on the bristles can bend and/or break them, making them less effective at removing plaque and tartar. If you’re looking for advice, you can always consult a dentist in my area to avoid common dental mistakes.

It’s also important to note that you should never share toothbrushes. They can have germs on them (even after cleaning) that can raise the risk of infection, especially for people who are immunocompromised.

Clean after each use

After brushing, rinse your toothbrush thoroughly with tap water to remove any remaining toothpaste and other debris. If you’re concerned about any potential bacteria on your toothbrush, don’t try to disinfect it in a dishwasher, microwave or with an ultraviolet device. These methods can damage your toothbrush irreparably.

Fortunately, the American Dental Association (ADA) has a couple of safer tricks you can try. First, they cite a study that indicates that soaking a toothbrush in a three percent hydrogen peroxide or Listerine mouthwash greatly reduces bacterial load by about 85%. You can also try a toothbrush sanitizer device, which is available on the market. If you decide to go with a sanitizer device, the ADA recommends that you look for one that has been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Proper toothbrush storage

As mentioned above, it’s very important to store your toothbrush properly after each use. Once it’s completely cleaned, put your toothbrush in an upright position where it can air-dry completely. This kills any remaining bacteria so that it doesn’t re-enter your mouth the next time you brush. Leaving your toothbrush upright will help it to drain and thus dry out more quickly. For more tips and professional advice, consider visiting a dentist in my area.

The following are a few more storage tips:

  • If you keep more than one brush in the same holder, don’t let them touch each other.
  • Don’t store your toothbrush near the toilet. Every time a toilet flushes it emits bacteria into the air that could get on your toothbrush if it’s too close.
  • Air dry your toothbrush before packing it for vacation.

When to replace your toothbrush

Dr. Santos recommends that you replace your toothbrush with a new one every three to four months, or even sooner if the bristles become bent, matted or frayed. This is because a worn-out toothbrush can’t clean your teeth as effectively as you need it to. Seaside Family Dentistry gives you a new toothbrush when you have your routine cleanings.

Remember, proper toothbrush care is an important part of your oral health routine and a well-cared for toothbrush will continue to take good care of your teeth. Ready to schedule an appointment with Seaside dentist Dr. Santos? Contact us today.