Although your toothbrush might look clean when it sits on the ledge of the sink, the bristles could actually be contaminated with microbial organisms that came from your mouth. Those can live on the bristles for weeks. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to keep your toothbrush clean and effective to get good use out of it.
Before and after use, rinse the brush with water to remove debris. You may also want to think about investing in a special device, such as a toothbrush sanitizer that cleans it much more thoroughly and has built-in technology to kill the aforementioned germs.
Store It Correctly
Keep your toothbrush stored upright in a position that allows it to dry out. Think about using a bristle cover that promotes airflow through small holes. Some people think that keeping the bristles completely covered is ideal, but if it keeps moisture on the brush it can actually foster bacterial growth.
Know When to Throw the Brush Out
Your toothbrush isn’t designed to last forever. It should be replaced every three to four months, or whenever the bristles start to show signs of wear. Look at them closely to see if you can spot fraying, or determine whether the bristles are bent downwards or sideways instead of standing up straight. Those are things that could give you a heads-up that it’s time to go to your nearest pharmacy or supermarket and pick up a new brush.
Don’t Share It
You should be the only one who uses the toothbrush. Although it’s tempting sometimes, don’t share the brush with a significant other or another person in your household.
Replace Brushes After Illnesses
You’ve already learned how germs can live on toothbrushes for months. It should make sense then that you need to throw away any toothbrushes a person has used while he or she was sick.
Use these tips to make sure you have a clean toothbrush that will be able to keep your mouth and teeth just as clean.