Often times, when we teach about oral hygiene we mention brushing twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing, having a good diet and visiting the dentist when we need to, but we neglect to mention anything about our tooth brushes.
Back in the days, our parents made use of chewing sticks, they were extremely conscious about keeping it clean. Today, a lot of people forget that Toothbrush is paramount to our oral health. Use a toothbrush with soft, nylon, round-ended bristles that will not scratch and irritate teeth or damage gums. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months. Do you know that Bacteria grows on toothbrush bristles and handles? Most are harmless, but others can cause cold and flu viruses, cold sores, and periodontal infections.
Here are tips for a healthy tooth brush hygiene:
- Wash your hands both before and after brushing to avoid transferring bacteria and food particles to your toothbrush.
- After brushing, rinse your toothbrush thoroughly to remove excess toothpaste and other debris, and soak the brush in antiseptic mouth rinse to eliminate any lingering bacteria. I saw a video of a wall gecko licking the lingering toothpaste on the toothbrush’s bristles. While this is disgusting, think of the invisible things that have touched the bristles when you are not around.
- Never share your toothbrushes with anyone, not even family, as this can lead to the transmission of colds or bacteria.
- Store your toothbrush upright and let it air dry before using it again, as bacteria grow in moist conditions.
- Don’t cover your toothbrush or store it in a closed container.
- Do not store your toothbrush in the same container as someone else’s as bacteria can easily transfer from toothbrush to toothbrushes.
- Keep your toothbrush as far away from the toilet as possible like 6 feet off, to avoid contamination from the airborne bacteria that are released with each flush. You can have more bacteria on your toothbrush than on a toilet seat.
- Keep your toothbrush off the wall to avoid contaminating with materials around the wall.
- When you are sick, please disinfect your toothbrush after use in anti-bacteria solution as they may be more bacteria stored in your mouth at this period.
- When travelling, keep it out of its case and in the open. If this is not possible, allow your travelling bag to be well ventilated, avoid making your bag tighten the toothbrush.