Last month I encountered a patient who complained of poor oral health despite he took every care of his teeth like used mouthwash, did brushing twice daily and did flossing. He was quite surprised that bacteria keep on attacking his teeth time and again. After taking the history of the patient, everything was fine apart from his toothbrush. He didn’t change it from last fifteen months. At last, he was advised to change his tooth brush. Yesterday, after a month, he reported to our dental office with a good and broad smile.
No matter, how conscious we are about our tooth paste, gum paint, mouthwash but if we are not taking care of our tooth brush then we are bound to get embraced by many oral diseases. Just think, tooth brush acts as a cleansing agent and we use it almost every day. But what do we do to clean our tooth brush? A mere 5 seconds wash or even less.
So, in today’s article we will cover the tips on how to take care of our tooth brushes.
Never Cover Your Tooth Brush
It is common to see that people cover their tooth brushes with caps and it’s disappointing to see that many companies, just to promote their brands, supply tooth brushes with capping. But it is recommended not to cover your toothbrush. Let me tell you why?
Gum diseases are caused by anaerobic bacteria that prefer anaerobic environment to grow and by covering the brush we are inviting those bacteria to grow and flourish. So, if you are keeping your tooth brush in a closed container that today only remove it from that and keep it in open and dry place.
Wash Your Tooth Brush Properly
If I ask that do you wash you tooth brush after brushing. All will say “YES” but what if I ask you that do you wash your tooth brush before brushing. 85 percent will say “NO”.
It is important that you wash your brush properly both before and after cleaning your teeth. Tooth brush should be washed properly with hot water. Use thumb to move the bristles in to and fro motion under the tap containing warm water.
Use a proper Tooth Brush Holder
Never keep the brush with bristles in downward position. Keep it in an upright position. This will help the water to drain away from bristles and will thus keep your brush dry. Also keep the brush in holder which is open at the bottom or have pores to drain out stored water. Avoid collection of any water or froth in the tooth brush holder. Also wash the holder once a week.
Keep a note that that the bristles of all the tooth brushes don’t touch each other. This will prevent cross contamination.
Change Tooth Brushes Regularly
Now days, it has become quite easy to see the right time to change the tooth brush. Many companies have launched tooth brushes with indicators in their bristles. Indicator reaching half mark or getting fade with time shows that it is the time to change your brush.
According to American Dental Association, it is mandatory to change the tooth brush every 4 months.
Though there are many sanitizers available but they have more of detrimental effects then benefits. So, you can soak your tooth brush in diluted anti-bacterial mouthwash for over ten minutes. This is a good at-home technique of tooth brush disinfection.
Another method is to dip your tooth brush in a solution of water mixed with baking soda or one tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide.
Store Tooth Brush Away from Toilet Seat
No matter how clean your toiled seat is but it is a store house for bacteria. So, it is advised to keep tooth brush at least 4 feet away from toilet seat.
Change the Brush if you have recovered from illness
Number of bacterial increases in your body when you are ill or have cold. Change your tooth brush or disinfect it using an antibacterial mouthwash after you have recovered from your illness. Using the same old tooth brush will again land you up in a disease cycle.
NOTE: Don’t use microwave to sterilize your tooth brush and every time you sterilize your tooth brush make sure to wash your hands first and then start with the whole procedure.
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