If you keep using the same toothbrush for months on end you are not doing your oral health a favor. It is quite normal for a toothbrush to be saturated with germs and bacteria after even one use. Usually these micro-organisms are not a big threat to your health but they can be if they are allowed to breed over time.
Some of the ways to keep the amount of bacteria from multiplying in your tooth brush bristles is to use toothpaste with an antibacterial property, rinse the brush well after using, and to let the brush dry after every use. Most harmful bacteria require moisture to grow so your best course of action is to let your toothbrush air dry after using. To make sure that your toothbrush always stays dry be sure to store it in an upright position.
If you have gum disease you may want to consider soaking your toothbrush in alcohol or a mouthwash that contains alcohol to kill the germs. You can also dip the toothbrush in boiling water for ten seconds or use a mixture of half water and half hydrogen peroxide to disinfect it. If you are suffering from gum disease Sachem Dental recommends that you change your toothbrush every four to six weeks.
You should NOT put your toothbrush in the microwave or the dishwasher to clean it. More often than not the heat degrades the plastic and breaks it down to a more toxic form that can be absorbed by the body.
It is not necessary to change your toothbrush every time you have a mouth sore or a cold. You just need to keep the toothbrush dry and disinfected. One sure sign that your toothbrush is getting too old to use is if the bristles start losing their shape or become flattened. In an effort to help you know when it is time to change your toothbrush, some manufacturers have made toothbrushes that have bristles that change color to indicate that the bristles are now too old to use.
The American Dental Association recommends getting a new toothbrush every three months in order to avoid brushing your teeth with bristles that may contain bacteria. If you are using an electric toothbrush then you need to change the head every three months as well. With every scheduled cleaning Sachem Dental gives you a new toothbrush to replace your old one, as well as some sample toothpaste and floss. If you have any more questions you can contact one of our offices located in Holbrook, Nesconset, Selden, or Lake Rnkonkoma.