Germs, Bacteria and Mold?
If you’ve recently been sick, you may have wondered if any germs could stick around in your toothbrush after you get well. Your body usually develops antibodies to fight viruses and bacteria after it’s made you ill, but it can be hard to know how many antibodies your body has created and how long they will last.
There’s also bacteria and mold in the environment that can contaminate your toothbrush. Because toothbrushes often stay moist in between uses, they can be the perfect place for bacteria and mold to grow.
Protecting Your Toothbrush
One of the best ways to ensure that the answer to the question, “Is your toothbrush clean?” is a confident “yes” is to store your toothbrush properly so that it’s protected from contamination.
Ideally, you should store your toothbrush in a location with good airflow so that it can dry out between uses. It should also be safe from anything that could splash it, bump into it, or knock it over. If you’re traveling, it’s a good idea to cover your toothbrush to protect it, but when you arrive at your destination make sure to uncover it so that it won’t become a breeding ground for mold or bacteria.
Toothbrush sanitizers that utilize UV or blue light are also available. Talk with your dentist about whether a toothbrush sanitizer would be helpful for your situation.
When to Get a New Toothbrush
When the answer to the question, “Is your toothbrush clean?” is a “no,” sometimes it’s best to replace it. If your toothbrush has developed an unpleasant smell, visible signs of mold, or has fallen on the floor, it’s a good idea to go ahead and replace it.
Dentists also recommend replacing your toothbrush every 3 months to ensure optimum effectiveness, so if it’s been longer than 3 months or your toothbrush shows signs of wear such as fraying or fading of the bristles, it should be replaced.
Brushing your teeth regularly is one of the most important things you can do for your dental health, so make sure you’re using a toothbrush that is clean and effective to ensure your teeth stay their healthiest and brightest.
Call our Omaha dental offices to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.