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Valuable Toothbrush Care

Updated on August 27, 2018
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As a language consultant, Skopo is a Proofreader and blogger. As a writer, she does a lot of research for the articles she writes.

Tooth care has changed in so many ways!

You might recall way back in preschool, the very famous Rhyme,

‘This is the way we brush our teeth . . . every Monday morning.’

Dating back from the beginning of human history, man has always found ways to either clean the teeth or to kill bad breath. Even when one had a toothache in the past, there were natural ways to cure it or at least kill the pain. Today, technology and development have brought about better and more effective ways to care for teeth. We have toothbrushes, electric and otherwise, dental floss, mouth wash, and now there are even dentists to give us guidance on how to care for our teeth.

But out of all these ways to care for teeth, the use of a tooth brush still stands out as the most common. Every person has a tooth brush. Why, there are even small tooth brushes designed for our little ones!

“The toothbrush is an oral hygiene instrument used to clean the teeth, gums, and tongue.”

— Wikipedia

So let’s talk about how to care for this very useful, hygiene sensitive tool.

What Is on Your Toothbrush

Researchers at England’s University of Manchester have this to say about your toothbrush: “Your toothbrush is loaded with germs.” Their research shows that a toothbrush left uncovered can carry more than 100 million bacteria, including E. coli bacteria. This bacteria can cause diarrhea. The toothbrush can also carry staphylococci bacteria which can cause skin infections.

Each time you brush your teeth, you’re removing plaque, and that is bacteria. So it is important that you pay attention to where and how you place your toothbrush in between uses.

In many houses, the toilet is usually close to the bathroom sink where you keep your toothbrush. So it is common to place the whole family’s toothbrushes in the open, by the sink. Here is the danger though:

You have probably noticed that each time you flush the toilet, a spray of water goes into the air. That spray carries with it a lot of bacteria from what you are flushing down. That bacteria goes and lands on the toothbrush you’ve left uncovered nearby.

Although according to dental professionals, ‘regardless of how many bacteria live in your mouth, or have gotten in there via your toothbrush, your body’s natural defences make it highly unlikely that you’re going to catch an infection simply from brushing your teeth.’ But think about this:

In many houses, the toilet is generally placed further away from the kitchen. That is generally because we do not want our plates and cups to come in contact with the bacteria from the toilet. So doesn’t it just make sense to store your toothbrush as far away from the toilet as possible?

Secondly, so many times we’ve heard the advice to wash our hands every time we come from the toilet that it has become second nature. We would not go straight from toilet to the table to eat without washing our hands? Why not? Well, that reason must apply when it comes to using that toothbrush we leave uncovered in the same room as the toilet.

So yes, maybe a toothbrush left in open air won’t make you sick, but common sense dictates that you give this matter a second thought.

Oral Care Options

For many people, flossing is not something they fancy. But the value of flossing cannot be overemphasised for your teeth. Flossing does what a toothbrush can’t do. Floss goes into the spaces in between the teeth where the toothbrush can’t reach. So getting into the habit of flossing will prove to be very helpful.

Whenever you’re tempted to skip brushing and flossing, remember how many bacteria are in your mouth—and what they can do. Bacteria in the mouth cause gum disease, decay, and bad breath.

Another good habit is that of rinsing your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash before you brush. This helps eliminate bacteria before they get onto your toothbrush.

But then there is that stuff that exists on your teeth, the one that colours your teeth and is so stubborn it won’t come out no matter how much you brush? Well, this is where a Dental Wash comes in. Dentists have tools that can easily scrape that stubborn plaque off. Dentists recommend you get it done at least every six months. Of course it’s not fun and definitely not free, but it’s so well worth it!

Care for Toothbrush and Storage Tips

Considering the above, caring for your toothbrush must be top priority. Dentists recommend that at least every three to four months, you replace your toothbrush. If the bristles of your toothbrush wear out, after you’ve been sick, or your immunity is weak, then you need to change it as soon as possible.

When it comes to storage so that your brush is as germ-free as possible, here are a few tips:

  • Rinse it thoroughly after use. Wash your toothbrush thoroughly with tap water every after use. Ensure to remove any toothpaste that may have sat at the bottom.

  • Keep it dry. “Bacteria love a moist environment.” Give your brush a chance to dry thoroughly between brushings. As much as possible, avoid using toothbrush covers as these can create a moist, breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Keep it upright. Store your toothbrush upright in a holder, rather than lying it down. This way, the water will run down, it will dry out faster, thus reducing the risk of bacteria festering on your toothbrush.
  • Do not Share. Whenever toothbrushes touch, they exchange germs. For that reason, do not store your toothbrush side-by-side in the same cup with other people’s brushes. Keep your toothbrush standing independent of others. And no matter how close you feel to anybody, don’t ever share toothbrushes with them.

So let’s hope from now on, the toothbrush will be assigned the greatest hygiene it deserves considering what a valuable tool it is.

© 2018 Skopo


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