How To Take Care Of Your Toothbrush

toothbrush with toothpaste

Think about where you store your toothbrush…

  • On your bathroom sink where splashes occur
  • In a toothbrush holder or cup that rarely gets cleaned

It's critical that our toothbrushes remain in good condition so they can do their jobs of keeping our teeth healthy.

ADA Recommends To

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft bristle brush
  • Replace toothbrush every 3-4 months or sooner if the bristles are frayed
  • Use ADA accepted fluoride toothpaste

Proper Toothbrush Technique Is To

  • Place toothbrush at a 45 angle to gums
  • Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes
  • Brush the outer surface, inner surface, and the chewing surface of teeth
  • To clean the inside surface of front teeth, tilt the brushes vertically and make gentle up and down strokes
  • Brush for 2 minutes for 2 times/day

Cleaning Your Toothbrush

  • Placing a toothbrush under a constant flow of water and giving it a good shake is needed to deep clean
  • Swirl the bristles in antibacterial mouthwash for 30 seconds
  • Dilute 2 teaspoons of baking soda in a cup of water and soak the toothbrush in the solution
  • Dilute 1 teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide in 1 cup of water and swirl the toothbrush bristle in solution before brushing
  • Soak bristles overtime in vinegar once per week
  • Dissolve denture cleaning tablets as per instructions in the label and soak the toothbrush in that solution.
  • Don't soak the toothbrush in mouthwash for longer than 15min and don't reuse that mouthwash used for cleaning the brush.
  • Sonic sterilizers- These are germicidal light technology that kills bacteria, to keep your toothbrush safe and clean. The UV light/ heat sterilization works to kill the germs that cause flu, gum disease, cavities and more. Bacteria love water. The heating plates dry the brushes to make the sterilization process more effective.(Figure 1)

Toothbrush Storage

  • Use a toothbrush holder to place it vertically upright. Never leave it flat on the surface
  • Store upright somewhere it can air out
  • Keep it away from your toilet and always put the lid down before flushing because the bacteria can send microscopic content all over the bathroom.

Toothbrush Maintenance

  • Brushes should be rinsed clean after each use then allowed to air dry.
  • Rotating use of more than one brush during 24 hours prolongs brush life
  • Brushes should be replaced when bristles splay or loose resilience generally no longer than 3-4 months
  • Some brushes have color indicator bristles to monitor replacement time
  • After illness such as cold or flu, brushes should be replaced or disinfected with a solution of 1 part bleach and 10 parts water or 0.12% chlorhexidine
  • Treat electronic / power models the same way you handle a manual toothbrush
  • Don't share a toothbrush with another person
  • No matter the circumstance never share your toothbrush with another person including family members.

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