Ever wonder if your toothbrush has microscopic germs that you can’t see? It’s not something we like to think about as we place the head of the brush inside our mouth daily, but the answer is YES! Germs can be living within the bristles on your toothbrush.
With the oral cavity housing hundreds of different types of microorganisms, there is a good chance of some of those germs to be transferred to your toothbrush. Brand new toothbrushes may also have bacteria on them when you take them out of the package. There is no requirement for toothbrushes to be sold in sterile packages.
Germs from your mouth are not the only contributors to those germs living on your toothbrush. If you store your toothbrush on the bathroom counter unprotected and in the open, simply flushing the toilet can introduce germs into the air. They can propel onto your toothbrush making toilet flushes the worst culprit to imagine contaminating your toothbrush.
This is an unpleasant truth, but there are a few steps you can take to help keep your mind at ease before, during and after brushing your teeth daily:
- Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly with hot water before and after brushing your teeth.
- Store your toothbrush in an upright position if possible allowing ventilation. Do not store toothbrushes in airtight containers.
- Keep toothbrushes separated to avoid cross-contamination.
- Never share your toothbrush. Exchange of body fluids equals exchange of harmful bacteria.
- Throw away your toothbrush after you’ve been sick.
- Replace toothbrushes every 3-4 months when it starts to show signs of wear.
These practices combined with visiting your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings will help to ensure that you have a lifelong healthy smile.