Brushing your teeth regularly is an important part of your daily dental care routine. For many years we have been taught to brush our teeth at least twice a day, but many people do not know the right and most hygienic ways to store their toothbrushes. Improper storage makes your toothbrush vulnerable to harmful bacteria that cause oral health problems.
The toothbrush is our first line of defense against tooth decay and gum disease; it’s okay to store and maintain them properly just to ensure that it can do its job properly. Fortunately, storing your toothbrush safely isn’t difficult or complicated.
Why Is It Important Where You Store Your Toothbrush?
Storing your toothbrush is just as important as brushing your teeth properly. An improperly stored toothbrush can be exposed to bacteria, viruses and fungi. Studies have found that old toothbrushes can contain Coli, Staphylococcus Aureus, Streptococcus Mutans, Herpes Simplex virus and candida yeast, among other potential pathogens. A damp toothbrush can also be a breeding ground for mold.
Here are some tips on where and how to properly store your toothbrush to maintain good oral hygiene.
Places You Should Never Store Your Toothbrush!
Near the toilet: Storing your toothbrush near the toilet puts your toothbrush at risk of contaminating the toilet air. Toilet air is an aerosolized cloud of microscopic particles of urine, feces, or whatever is in the bowl that is sprayed into the air when you flush it. Particles can remain in the air for hours after flushing and may contain the following pathogens:
While your immune system can fight off the germs and bacteria you’re exposed to every day, it’s still important to keep your toothbrush in a much safer place.
In the bathroom cabinet: There are several reasons why the bathroom cabinet is a bad storage place for your toothbrush. Since the cabinet is a closed area, it does not have sufficient air flow. Lack of adequate air supply makes it impossible for the toothbrush to dry completely. A wet toothbrush can be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. In addition, in cases where you can’t keep your toothbrush upright in the cabinet, you prevent the water from flowing smoothly, causing the brush fibers to wear out before their time.
Near the sink: Your sink may look clean, but it’s still not a good place for your toothbrush. Not only is it often within radius of the toilet air, but faucet handles can be a hotspot for germs, bacteria, and mold.
Store Your Toothbrush Safely!
So where can you safely store your toothbrush? The best option is the simplest, now we know so much about the dynamics of the toilet and sink. The best option would be a wall-mounted toothbrush holder that is outside the radius of the toilet air. Or it can be in a glass where your toothbrush can stand upright again, in a corner far from the toilet and sink.
When storing toothbrushes in a cup or toothbrush holder, make sure there is sufficient space between the brushes or bristles to prevent them from touching each other, as this can cause cross-contamination.
Also, be sure to store your toothbrushes away from all cleaning products. Storing them near cleaning products may expose them to chemicals, increasing the risk of accidental poisoning.
Tips for Keeping Your Toothbrush Clean!
UV Disinfectant: The powerful ultraviolet rays of this device can kill disease-causing microorganisms in just a few minutes. Portable models can be carried with you wherever you go to keep your toothbrush clean at all times.
Mouthwash: Soaking your toothbrush in mouthwash can help get rid of harmful microorganisms. Fill a glass with enough mouthwash to soak the toothbrush head for about four hours. Rinse the toothbrush thoroughly with running water and then store it in a toothbrush holder to air dry.
Hydrogen Peroxide: Since hydrogen peroxide is readily available, this option is one of the most convenient ways to clean your toothbrush. Soak your toothbrush head in hydrogen peroxide for at least six hours to ensure it is thoroughly sterilized and cleaned. Rinse thoroughly with running water and air dry in the toothbrush holder.
Vinegar: Another simple and easy solution to sanitizing your toothbrush is to soak it in vinegar for at least eight hours. Some people find that soaking overnight works best. Rinse well again and air dry in the toothbrush holder.
Boiling Water: This is the most cost-effective way to sterilize your toothbrush. Boil the water and put your toothbrush in the pot. Mix gently for 10 minutes to sterilize its surface. Store upright to air dry.
When Should You Replace Your Old Brush?
Unfortunately, toothbrushes don’t last a lifetime, so knowing when to throw them away is essential. Dental hygienists recommend replacing your toothbrush every three or four months. Here are the most common signs that you need to replace it with a new one:
.Have frayed or frayed bristles
.Immediate after illness (such as flu)
.In case of improper storage
.Over three or four months
An old, worn toothbrush loses its ability to brush your teeth thoroughly and remove plaque, the sticky, colorless layer of bacteria that coats your teeth. When plaque is not removed, it can eventually turn into tartar and cause various dental problems such as gum disease and tooth decay.
Your toothbrush requires care to protect not only your oral health but also your overall health. In addition to taking care of your toothbrush, visiting your dentist is the most effective way to maintain dental and gum health.