How to Prevent the Spread of Germs on Toothbrushes

It is very common for toothbrushes to harbor germs. Unfortunately, these germs can make you sick, or increase your risk of tooth and gum infections and cavities. Learning how to prevent the spread of germs on toothbrushes can reduce the number of germs that your toothbrush is harboring, and thus, reduce the risk of you getting sick or getting an infection from your toothbrush. Here are some tips that can help you reduce these germs.

Wash Your Hands Before Picking Up Your Toothbrush:

Before you brush or floss your teeth, wash your hands with warm water and soap. This helps kills germs, and in turn, prevents them from transferring to floss or toothbrushes.

Rinse Your Toothbrush After you Brush:

After you brush your teeth, rinse the toothbrush thoroughly with warm water. This helps remove any germs that may have been in your mouth, so you don’t reintroduce them to your mouth when you brush again.

Allow Your Brush to Air-Dry:

Once you have rinsed the brush, place it upright and allow it to air-dry. Do not place it in a closed container, as this can promote the growth of bacteria. Placing it upright and allowing it to air-dry allows it to dry without promoting the growth of bacteria. Additionally, it takes almost 24 hours for a toothbrush to thoroughly dry. As such, everyone should have two brushes; one to use in the morning and one to use in the evening.

Replace Your Toothbrush Every Three Months Or Following an Illness:

In order to keep bacteria to a minimum, dentists recommend replacing your toothbrush every three months or after you have been ill. If your toothbrush was placed in close proximity to a family member’s brush that has been sick, you may want to replace your brush as well.

Never Share a Toothbrush:

The last tip is to never, ever share a toothbrush. Germs that cause cavities and decay can easily be transmitted if you share a toothbrush. If you find yourself without a toothbrush, you are better off using mouthwash, flossing and then brushing your teeth with a clean finger than you are sharing a toothbrush with a loved one or family member. Just make sure to pick up a new brush later that day and brush as soon as possible.

If you have any specific questions about any of the above information, or about the type of toothbrush you should use, ask your dentist during your bi-yearly dental checkup appointments.

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