You are probably reading this because you may have concern about the cleanliness of your toothbrush and if that is the case I want you to know I really understand. In my clinic we have helped many people like you understand toothbrush hygiene. Investing in a healthy smile cannot be overrated. Spending $50 a year on toothbrushes is nothing compared to losing a tooth, developing gum disease, or paying for expensive dental treatments. In my previous videos, (http://www.youtube.com/dentistbarbados), I discussed certain aspects of toothbrush care. We will discuss these in full.
So how dirty is your toothbrush? Let’s us apply some common sense. The truth is that:
1. You should wash your hands before and after brushing and flossing.
2. Wash and disinfect your new toothbrush straight from the box with peroxide, liquid dishwashing antibacterial soap, or microwave for about 30secs. Make sure the brush has no metal.
3. The toothbrush may be the dirtiest thing you have to deal with each day.
4. There can be as much as 100 million bacteria on your toothbrush. Some studies even say 1 trillion!
5. A toothbrush can have on it: stale food, old blood, inflammation, bacteria, viruses, fungi, and old toothpaste!
6. The best place to keep the toothbrush is in the bedroom
7. Fecal water spray from flushing can contaminate your toothbrush. The spray can go more than 3 feet into the air and last as much as 2 hours. So close the toilet lid before flushing
8. Don’t keep your toothbrush by a sink. Spray from washing your hands will contaminate the toothbrush
9. Keep toothbrush upright, uncovered and in a container or toothbrush holder that can easily be cleaned –like a glass
10. A covered toothbrush allows bacteria to multiply even more, because they thrive in moist environments
11. Clean your toothbrush before and after every use with an antibacterial liquid soap, just as you do you knife, fork and spoon
12. You use your toothbrush more intimately than your utensils!
13. Remember about 90% of systemic disease have oral manifestations
14. Let your toothbrush dry between cleanings. Ideally you should have 2 brushes-one for day and night
15. Don’t share your toothbrush
16. 75% of the adult population have some form of gum disease
17. Check your toothbrush handle and wash it. It could have moss, fungi, etc. growing on it
18. Check the bottom of your toothbrush container. It should be clean. If you can’t clean it, then get one that you can clean
19. Use a separate toothbrush for work and home. Because your work toothbrush is covered change it every 2 weeks
20. Don’t wait 3, 4 or 6 months to change your regular toothbrush. Change it every month. Especially after travel or an illness
I hope this has helped you look at your toothbrush hygiene. Remember the toothbrush is a bridge between the environmental germs and your mouth and therefore your general system. Be more aware of it as it may affect your overall optimal wellness. Respect your toothbrush!