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How To Clean Toothbrush?

Sep 14, 2023Oral health, oral surgery

How to clean toothbrush?

Maintaining the sanitization of your toothbrush is a straightforward process. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), to effectively cleanse your toothbrush, the following steps are recommended:

  1. Upon completion of brushing, it is advisable to thoroughly rinse your toothbrush with water. Doing so effectively eliminates any residual toothpaste or food particles that may be present.
  2. It is recommended that you position your toothbrush in an upright manner within a well-ventilated area to facilitate air-drying, while ensuring it is kept separate from other toothbrushes.

As per the findings of research, placing a wet toothbrush inside a sealed container results in a 70 percent elevation in microbial growth compared to keeping it exposed in the open air.

It is not advisable to store all the toothbrushes of your household in a single cup. The recommended approach is to keep them separate so as to prevent the spread of germs.

The temperature of water can have a significant impact on the cleaning process. The use of hot water tends to soften the bristles and facilitates the removal of grime from the brush head. On the other hand, warm water is equally effective as it serves to disinfect surfaces by eliminating bacteria.

Properly rinsing and shaking your toothbrush after use can significantly minimize the growth of germs, thereby keeping your oral hygiene in check.


How to maintain your toothbrush clean and remove bacteria

It may come as a surprise but having no bacteria on your toothbrush is not ideal. In the absence of such bacteria, opportunistic microorganisms, namely yeast and fungi, tend to thrive. A reasonable presence of natural bacteria in your mouth is conducive to good oral health, but only when it is not situated around the teeth or gum tissue.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends proper toothbrush care and has cited studies suggesting that normal bacteria on a toothbrush do not have any adverse effects on oral health.

Your dentist can provide you with advice on maintaining a hygienic and efficient toothbrush.

  1. Let it dry completely: Anaerobic bacteria reside on a toothbrush after it is used and require an oxygen-free environment to survive. Therefore, allowing the brush to air dry effectively eradicates the majority of these microorganisms.
  2. Store your toothbrush properly: It is imperative to keep in mind that toothbrushes should be stored in an open-air holder and not in dirty cups, drawers or travel cases. Failure to do so can cause the growth of mold or bacteria that are not commonly found in the mouth, leading to oral afflictions such as gingivitis. The American Dental Association (ADA) advises against regularly shielding your toothbrush, owing to the probability of unwelcome bacterial growth.
  3. Replace your toothbrush after being sick: It is imperative to dispose of your toothbrush when dealing with illnesses or fungal, yeast, or viral infections in your oral cavity. It is advisable to replace your toothbrush at the onset of treatment and again upon completion. Nevertheless, it is highly recommended to replace your toothbrush after you have recovered from any ailment. A simple solution to prevent recurrent infection or transmission of bacteria among family members is available. This approach is more practical than attempting to sterilize your toothbrush via boiling, hydrogen peroxide, or vinegar.
  4. Don’t share toothbrushes: Maintaining a healthy bacterial flora in your oral cavity is crucial. However, introducing bacteria from an external source may prove detrimental to your oral health. As such, it is highly advised against sharing toothbrushes, especially with children who are developing their normal flora. It is recommended to refrain from placing multiple brushes, including those used by family members, together in the same holder or drawer. It is ideal to prevent their contact with one another to ensure optimal hygiene and maintenance.
  5. Replace it: Instead of attempting to sanitize your toothbrush, establish a routine of periodic replacement. A proper toothbrush should appear tidy and upright. Stay vigilant for any signs of staining, accumulation, or frayed bristles. If any of these indicators are noted, it is advised to replace the toothbrush immediately. It is advisable to adhere to the guidelines of the American Dental Association (ADA) when replacing your toothbrush, despite varied suggestions from different manufacturers. It is recommended that you replace your toothbrush every three to four months, but if you notice frayed bristles, it should be replaced sooner.

If you have concerns regarding the efficacy of your toothbrush, an advisable course of action is to replace it with a new one. Certain professionals suggest owning multiple toothbrushes and interchanging them while one is drying. Don’t hesitate to inquire about any doubts pertaining to oral hygiene.

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