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Clean Your Brush Before You Brush!
by Dr. Michael Popp on Nov 28, 2014

Overview: If you're one of the many people who wash your toothbrush before you use it, you can rest assured you're doing the right thing. Want to know why washing your brush is so important? Read the blog below to find out more.


When your toothbrush is not being used, it can be exposed to all sorts of harmful bacteria and germs. These include coliforms, pseudomonads, intestinal bacteria, yeasts, staphylococci, and even fecal bacteria! If you don't know what some of those are then just take our word for it – you don't want them on your toothbrush! This slightly shocking news inevitably leads to some worried patients, so here are some common questions regarding toothbrush hygiene and their answers.

Can bacteria from the toilet really affect my toothbrush?

It's not the answer you want to hear, but yes! By either flushing the toilet or by not washing your hands properly, enteric bacteria can make its way onto your toothbrush. Don't think this applies to you? During a TV show called Mythbusters, twenty four toothbrushes were tested for a variety of bacteria and all twenty four tested positive for enteric bacteria, a type that occurs mostly in the intestines.

How can I remove these germs?

Thoroughly rinsing your toothbrush with clean water before you use it can help remove debris and bacteria that have built up. It has also been shown that soaking your toothbrush head in antibacterial mouth wash can help remove bacteria and you should do this as well if you can.

How often should I change my toothbrush?

Changing your toothbrush regularly is a great way to keep tabs on the amount of bacteria that builds up on your toothbrush. It is recommended that you replace your brush approximately every three months, or sometimes sooner if it becomes frayed and worn.

Is there anything else I can do to keep my brush clean?

Yes there are! Other ways to increase the hygiene of your toothbrush include storing your brush in an upright and open environment as this allows it to dry, which makes it less susceptible to bacteria growth. Additionally, using antibacterial mouthwash before you brush can help kill of the germs before you even put your brush in your mouth.

Bottom Line: Even if you already rinse your toothbrush prior to brushing your teeth, following some of these additional tips is still a good idea. There are certain basic steps, such as changing your toothbrush regularly, storing your toothbrush correctly, and even soaking it in antibacterial mouthwash when you can, that will drastically improve the hygiene of your toothbrush. If you want to avoid toothbrush bacteria, then you should be doing everything you can to keep it as clean as possible!

For more information on dental hygiene, and dentistry in general, contact the Marlborough Dental Centre in NE Calgary today on (403) 248-2066.

Inspired by... http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140506094439.htm

 


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