It’s been awhile since we talked toothbrushes and what with the summer heat, the possibility of vacation time and perhaps a camping trip or two all coming up – it’s probably time to talk about them again. Chances are you haven’t given much thought to your toothbrush lately. Who does? Toothbrush care is important however and for more reasons than you might think.
- Let’s start with an easy one. Never share your toothbrush! Hopefully, most of you instantly recoiled and thought “Ew gross, who does that?” The reality is, sometimes it happens whether by accident or on purpose. Even if you are only sharing it once doing so could result in sharing of bodily fluids placing both users at an increased risk of infection. If you are immunocompromised this is even more of a risk. Along the same lines, even storing your toothbrush in an upright container where it is allowed to stand too close to its neighbour is also putting you at risk. Cross contamination can happen. You want to be sure to choose a container that keeps the brushes somewhat separated from one another.
- When you are finished brushing your teeth be sure to actually rinse out your toothbrush well. It may seem counter-intuitive because its already spending a great deal of time in water but again, the reality is your toothbrush needs to be rinsed out thoroughly because it has just been in your mouth – which while your cleaning it of bacteria, is full of bacteria! So, rinsing is absolutely necessary. Make sure to give it a couple of good shakes too and do your best to store upright in an area where it will be able to dry completely between use.
- Along the same lines and with regards to that vacation or summer camping trip, do your best to ensure you are not regularly storing toothbrushes in closed, airtight containers. Obviously, when travelling or camping this is what we would politely call a “necessary evil” but once the trip is over make sure that toothbrush comes up (and out) for air!
- Finally – when it comes to the age-old question “How often should I replace my toothbrush?” we defer to the common guidelines of both the ADA and CDA. They suggest replacement takes place around every three to four months. If you are a particularly vigorous brusher – then perhaps every two to three months is best because you might just be wearing down those bristles faster than the average brusher.
What all of this advice boils down to is plain old common sense I think. The trouble is, even the best of us occasionally need reminding! If you plan to travel this summer I think what I most want you to remember is: please don’t leave your toothbrush behind! Even if you do have to store it in an airtight container and even if you have to stand it up close to its neighbours in the toothbrush holder – it is still so important that you never skip a day of brushing. In fact, even while on vacation, the reality is you should remember to brush your teeth at least two/three times per day. There is, after all, never a reason to take a vacation from your teeth!
As always, thanks for checking in and reading our blogs. For all of your dental questions and concerns, please feel free to call a member of the Brampton Brinkley Dental team anytime and feel free to make an appointment to visit us. In the meantime, we like to remind you: “don’t forget to be a BFF with your mouth and Brush that SMILE!”