The primary reason we brush our teeth is to maintain good dental health. By brushing away bacteria, we can eliminate the growth of plaque, keep our gums healthy and prevent bad breath. Yet for many, their toothbrush is contributing to the bacteria in their mouths.
All toothbrushes have some bacteria on them. This is mostly the result of natural flora of bacteria that live in our mouths. In fact, bacteria are necessary for sustaining a healthy mouth. Yet, most dentists will tell you that unwanted organisms, like yeast and fungi, can also begin to grow on a toothbrush, particularly if it is not properly maintained.
While some individuals attempt to sterilize a toothbrush in boiling water or running it through the dishwasher, an easier approach is to replace it when it begins to show wear and tear. Discolorations and spread out bristles are key signs that it’s time for a new toothbrush. For good dental health, the American Dental Association recommends replacing a toothbrush every three to four months. They also encourage replacing a toothbrush after an illness, such as a cold or the flu.
For Good Dental Health, Don’t Share and Share Alike
While sharing in life is almost always encouraged, toothbrushes are best kept separate. Every individual has their own unique mix of healthy bacteria in their mouth. Yet, what is healthy for one person may actually not be beneficial for another. This is especially true for children who are still developing their own unique flora in their mouths.
Where to Store a Toothbrush?
Along with replacing a toothbrush on a regular basis, it’s important where you store it. Avoid storing toothbrushes in a moist or dark environment, such as a toothbrush holder or drawer, where there is no chance for them to dry out. This only speeds up the growth of microorganisms which can increase the risk of infections. Because some pathogens are airborne, it’s also wise to store toothbrushes away from toilets.
An Alternative to Nylon Bristles
Traditional toothbrushes are made with nylon bristles which can deteriorate quickly. This can be a contributing factor to bacteria growth on a toothbrush in and around the bristles. Unlike nylon-bristle brushes, the PeriClean Ultra Soft Toothbrush has bristles crafted out of the same high-tech rubber used in dentist and hygienist tools. Because of the durability of the bristles, the PeriClean lasts longer than standard toothbrushes while being the only patented toothbrush designed specifically for receding gums, sensitive teeth and other periodontal issues.