You rely on your toothbrush to keep your mouth clean, but keeping your toothbrush clean should also be a part of your oral health routine. Here is a guide on how to clean toothbrushes and recognizing when it’s time to replace them.
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR TOOTHBRUSH:
Rinse after every brush: Give your toothbrush a rinse after brushing to clear debris from bristles.
No closed caps: Store your brush upright to air dry instead of choosing a medicine cabinet or container with a closed cap. Bacteria grows faster in moist settings.
Don’t share: Sharing is caring, but not when it comes to your toothbrush. You can transfer germs and illnesses by sharing a toothbrush.
Don’t nuke or soak it: You can damage your toothbrush by tossing it in the microwave or dishwasher, and there’s no clinical evidence that soaking your toothbrush in mouthwash or disinfecting solution has any positive or negative effect on oral health.
WHEN YOU SHOULD TOSS YOUR TOOTHBRUSH
It’s great to know how to clean toothbrushes, but you should also recognize when it’s time to break up with your brush for good. Be prepared to call it quits when:
You get sick: Always replace your toothbrush after a viral or bacterial illness to prevent contamination.
Pro tip: If you are sick, consider using a different tube of toothpaste (travel size, for example) to avoid spreading germs to family members.
The bristles are frayed: The American Dental Association recommends replacing toothbrushes every 3-4 months, but you should replace it sooner if bristles become bent and worn with use.