Toothbrushes are really not as innocent as they look sitting there looking all comfortable in your bathroom. Once brushed with a toothbrush, it has millions of little oral microbial organisms that inhabit it, making the instrument you clean your mouth with their HOME.
Bacteria and viruses are easily transferred from a sick person to the tooth brush and continue to live on the tooth brush prolonging the illness of the sick person. This also means that it is absolutely the worst idea to share toothbrushes because you really have no idea what germs and diseases are crawling around on your toothbrushes.
Toothbrushes are NOT SOLD STERILE and hence they probably arrive with a whole bunch of microorganisms that live on them. Hence it is important to thoroughly clean a new toothbrush prior to using it to avoid infections in your mouth. Tooth brushes also gather tiny invisible particles of fecal material that are thrust into the air every time you flush the commode. Make sure you keep your toothbrush covered and at a safe distance from the toilet.
Given you have all this knowledge now, how can you brush in the most hygienic way possible?
- Wash Thoroughly
One way to keep your toothbrush relatively clean is to wash your tooth brush well before and after brushing. Be sure to remove bits of food stuck in the bristles. For individuals with a systemic illness or an immune disease, it is advised that they wash their brushes in antibacterial mouthwash.
- Deep Cleaning
Some bacteria are immensely stubborn. Also if you are a germaphobe or have an immune disease, you can make use of toothbrush sanitizers available in the market. Try using ultraviolet light to kill microorganisms too.
- Store Properly
Keep your toothbrush upright on a rack, so it can air out. Find a proper cover for it that allows circulation of air. Lack of air circulation could cause mold to grow on your toothbrush.
- Chuck It
Know when to throw your brush away. People tend to hold on to their brushes forever. Keep a look out for flowering of the bristles, once you see this change in your toothbrush, it’s time to bye-bye to the brush you are using and buy a new one. Remember to change your brush every 3 months. After an illness, change your toothbrush so you don’t introduce the same bacteria in your mouth again.
- No Sharing
Above all, don’t share your brush. Bacteria that cause tooth decay are easily transferrable and tooth decay is an infectious disease.
In general it would be wise to consult your dentist on what type of brush is best for your current oral condition. Heed the basic guidelines above and you are sure to have a healthier mouth.