Everyone knows that consistent tooth-brushing (and flossing) is the foundation of a great oral hygiene. But it’s not just your teeth that needs regular cleaning – so does your toothbrush! The primary job of a toothbrush is to get rid of food particles and plaque from the teeth. Consequently, it gets contaminated with saliva, blood, bacteria, and old paste over time, so it’ s important to also think about how you keep your toothbrush clean and sanitized.
It is recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA) that people replace their old toothbrushes every 3 to 4 months and thoroughly clean it thoroughly once a week at least. However, this may even be insufficient to prevent a toothbrush from getting contaminated. If you find the thought of utilizing a dirty toothbrush a bit gross, we discuss in this post different methods to disinfect, sanitize and decontaminate a toothbrush.
Run Your Brush Through the Dishwasher
This might sound strange, but this is indeed an option. Since you wash your plates, spoons, and other plastic utensils inside the machine, it should be safe enough for a toothbrush as well. However, if you are concerned about its probability to melt, ensure you set the machine to a lower heat setting before using it to wash your toothbrush.
Use Boiling Water
A simple but effective way of sanitizing the bristles of your toothbrush is by dipping it or its head into boiling hot water for five to ten seconds. This is a particularly important way of eliminating illnesses such as strep as boiling your brush will help get you better quicker. Another similar method is rinsing the brush with warm water before and after tooth-brushing. Use your thumb to hold the brush from the handle and repeatedly run the bristles forward and backward under the warm water. Consistently do this before and after brushing and ensure it has been cleaned completely.
Thoroughly Dry the Toothbrush
You have to shake out the toothbrush’s bristles after completing a cleaning session, and ensure the moisture is no more. Tap the handle of the toothbrush against a hard surface, like the wash-hand basin, to get the water out of its bristles. You can likewise shake the toothbrush energetically over the wash-hand basin to get more water out, but don’t ever allow the toothbrush to touch the basin. Allow the toothbrush to dry without its bristles coming in contact with other surfaces.
Wash it in Antiseptic Rinse
You can use chlorhexidine mouthwash or even alcohol-based rinse for this. Pour enough rinse into an uncontaminated plastic cup. Grab the brush by the handle and dunk its bristles into the antibacterial rinse. Wash the bristles in the rinse for about 30 seconds. Take the toothbrush out, tap its handle on a hard surface to get the moisture out, and then store it in an upright position to allow it to dry without the bristles touching any other surface or the bristles of other people’s toothbrushes. Keep in mind to never dip the toothbrush into the rinse’s main bottle, or you will be in danger of cross-contaminating the whole bottle and the toothbrush as well. If you are sick, you can prolong the rinse to about 10 minutes.
Cleanse the Toothbrush Under Ultraviolet Light
There are dedicated toothbrush sanitizers that utilize ultraviolet light to eliminate the bacteria and germs on the toothbrush’s bristles. The fundamental technique is similar for most of the devices. Simply open the device’s user-accessible casing and insert the brush or brush head into an inner compartment. Afterward, close the casing of the device. Turn the device on and allow the ultraviolet light to sanitize the bristles of the toothbrush for the recommended period – just a couple of minutes most times. Remove the toothbrush when the device alerts you to do as such.
The best and most effective policy sometimes is to just buy a new brush. Like we mentioned earlier, it is recommended by the American Dental Association to replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. But, you can determine if the replacement has to happen sooner upon closer inspections of the bristles of the toothbrush. If the bristles are splitting at the ends, or if you see entire sets of bristles twisted in a direction without going back to a straight position after drying, it’s high time you got a new toothbrush then.