The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every three months, but have you considered how to best to care for it in the meantime? You wouldn’t let your bath towel go three months without a wash, and your toothbrush should be no different! Consider integrating a weekly brush cleaning into your routine to keep you and your mouth healthy. Here are a few tips on keeping your toothbrush fresh and sanitized in between replacements:
1. Use your mouthwash on your bristles.
The same rinse you use to keep your mouth extra clean can be used to disinfect your brush after using it! Allow the head of your toothbrush to soak in small cup of antibacterial mouthwash or rubbing alcohol for a few minutes before or after brushing. Not only will your toothbrush be squeaky clean, it’ll smell minty fresh too! Just remember to rinse it before your next use.
2. Boil the bacteria away.
Although boiling water can be a bit harsh on the plastic of your brush, it does a great job killing the bacteria that builds up over time. Boil a small pot of water on the stove and dip the head of your toothbrush in the rolling boil for at least three minutes to kill most germs. Make sure to rinse your brush under cold water afterwards to bring it back to a safe temperature and wait a few more minutes before using it to avoid burns!
3. Run it through the dishwasher.
It’s how you clean the rest of the utensils that spend time in your mouth, so it only makes sense that it would clean your toothbrush too! Place your brush in the utensil container in your dishwasher and allow it to cycle through along with your dishes. While a regular washing temperature shouldn’t harm the plastic of your brush, you could consider running the cycle at a lower temperature if you’re worried about it melting or warping.
4. Store your brush properly.
Many of us don’t consider where our toothbrush lives when it isn’t in our mouths, but proper storage is just as important as thorough cleaning. Keep your brush upright in a cup or holder to allow water to drip away, and store that cup in the open as opposed to a cupboard. Air flow will help the brush to dry and avoid growing bacteria. When possible, avoid keeping your brush too close to the sink or toilet to keep it as far away from other contaminating bacteria as possible.
5. Invest in a UV sanitizer.
While this isn’t the cheapest option, it’s highly effective. UV sanitizers can kill millions of bacteria in mere minutes and help keep your brush fresh and your mind at ease. Hospitals and laboratories utilize UV sanitation because of how reliable and effective it is at killing germs, and there are a few great in-home sanitizers on the market.
Replacing your brush at least every three months is one of many great ways to keep your mouth healthy! When you visit your dentist for your routine check-up, you’ll learn a number of proven methods to protect your oral heath.
To schedule your next appointment, call Advanced Family Dental & Orthodontics today!