• Is Your Toothbrush Clean?

  • Oral Health Concord dentistWondering if your toothbrush is clean seems like an easy question to answer, right?  Well, maybe not.  Most of us think our toothbrush is clean; after all, we clean our teeth with it using a cleansing paste, so how could it be dirty?  Our Concord dentist office, like many others, routinely hands out toothbrushes to patients in order to ensure you refresh your toothbrush every six months.  But how do you keep it clean the rest of the time and why does it matter?


    Is a new toothbrush clean?

    Think about the last apple you bought at the grocery store.  Hopefully, you brought it home and washed it.  We have no easy way of knowing how many hands it passed through until it made it into your cart.  Your toothbrush is similar.  Sure, it seems like it is packaged in a clean environment, but toothbrush companies are currently not required to package their wares in a sterilized container.  In addition to the number of people possibly touching the brush, many employees have had a chance to touch the outside packaging as well.  From boxing to unboxing, to merchandising and purchasing, a lot of hands have handled your toothbrush.  Our Concord dentist recommends rinsing your new toothbrush in hot water immediately after opening the packaging.

    Clean your toothbrush

    Germs spread from surface to surface rapidly.  Consider where your hands have been before picking up your toothbrush.  The goal of oral health is to prevent bacteria and plaque from destroying your teeth and gums.  That means it is necessary to take steps to avoid introducing new germs and bacteria into your mouth with a clean toothbrush.  Use these Concord dentist tips to ensure your toothbrush stays clean.

    • Sterilize your toothbrush in your dishwasher every 45-60 days.
    • Use hot water to rinse off your toothbrush after each use.
    • Store toothbrushes upright so they can properly dry.
    • Don’t allow toothbrushes to touch each other.
    • Wash your toothbrush holder every 7 days.


    Additional Hygiene Tips

    Use a small cup of mouthwash to soak your toothbrush occasionally.  A 10 minute soak in antibacterial mouthwash every 2 weeks is a great way to prevent germs from attaching themselves to your bristles.  Talk with our Concord dentist or hygienist about which mouthwash they recommend.  Lastly, wash your hands before you floss your teeth or brush them.  This way, you’ll never have to worry about where your hands have been before putting them in your mouth and you’ll keep viruses and illnesses at bay.


    When to replace a toothbrush

    Keeping your toothbrush and hands clean prevents the spread of germs.  In addition to our Concord dentist toothbrush tips, we recommend replacing your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months.  The bristles on your toothbrush break down and can’t effectively do their job day after day.  Pick up a toothbrush at your next regular dental exam or make a quick stop at your local grocery store or pharmacy.


    A clean toothbrush is just as important as proper oral hygiene.  Follow our Facebook page for oral health tips or bring your questions with you to your next office visit.  We love educating our patients on oral hygiene so that we can help you prevent cavities and gum disease.