Most people don’t think about how to take care of their toothbrush. It’s one of those tools we use every day (and hopefully at least twice a day!) that we kind of take for granted. But during cold and flu season, it’s probably a good idea to take a few more preventative steps to clean your toothbrush as another step to help prevent a nasty virus from sending you to the doctor. Here are some tips for giving your toothbrush – and you – a little extra TLC this fall.
Las Vegas Dentist Says Clean Your Toothbrush to Skip the Flu
You know your mouth harbors a lot of germs, viruses, and bacteria. But so does your toothbrush. That’s why it’s important to give it a little extra care every day. The National Dental Association suggests you should replace your toothbrush every three months and clean it thoroughly weekly. But if you get the flue replace your toothbrush after you get better to discard all those germs.
Here are some tips for regularly cleaning your toothbrush:
- You can soak the bristles of your toothbrush in antibacterial mouthwash, and then rinse it in cool water.
- You can store your brush each day in hydrogen peroxide. Just pour enough hydrogen peroxide in a small cup and let it sit. When you go to brush your teeth, change out the hydrogen peroxide.
- You can even boil your toothbrush for three minutes – but certainly not your electric toothbrush!
- Did you know you can actually place your toothbrush is the silverware compartment of your dishwasher? Just run avoid the soap and run it through the hot cycle.
- Don’t store toothbrushes in a sealed container; those moist conditioners can harbor bacteria growth.
- Your home microwave can even be used to sterilize your toothbrush. Just put the brush in a few inches of water (enough to cover the bristles) in a microwave suitable container and turn it on for a couple of minutes. Again, don’t do this with your electric toothbrush!
- You can even buy a toothbrush sanitizer. It operates with UV light and, steam, and dry heat to thoroughly sanitize your brush.
Keeping your toothbrush clean is important every day, but especially during cold and flu season. Your toothbrush can hold on to cold and flu germs, so at the very least, wash the bristles every day and store it upright to let it dry. Certainly, don’t share your toothbrush with anyone and don’t store several toothbrushes together in one place.
One thing to keep in mind is that boiling, microwaving, or putting your toothbrush through the dishwasher will wear it out more quickly.
Taking care of your teeth means also taking care of the appliances to clean them. Scientific studies have shown the volume of microorganisms in your mouth – and on your toothbrush. When you really think about it, there could be bacteria on that new toothbrush you just took out of the package. Toothbrushes, after all, are not required to have sterile packaging!
So follow these tips for a healthier fall and winter. When it’s time for your next checkup, contact Dr. Hadley and his team.