A basic understanding of the mouth and body connection has taught us to be more aware of what we put in our mouths. We should not only be wary of toxins and unhealthy food but we should also handle our toothbrushes with care. As a vital weapon in our daily battle for dental health perfection, toothbrushes should not be taken for granted.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), there is a significant possibility that microorganisms present in the mouth and the environment can be transferred to a toothbrush. Fortunately, there is no need for panic as the human body has a built-in mechanism that defends itself against the onslaught of germs and bacteria.
The ADA reports that there is still not enough data to backup the claim that bacteria from toothbrushes can causes illnesses. Still, it is recommended to take precaution and to observe the following guidelines when it comes to the care and use of toothbrushes. People with compromised immune systems in particular, are advised to observe these pointers.
Don’t share toothbrushes. There is no exemption. No matter if he/she is your significant other. Sharing toothbrushes puts everyone involved at a high risk of infection.
Store toothbrushes upright and allow it to air-dry. Enclosures tend to be moist making it a breeding ground for germs. Instead, allow it to air-dry. If stored with other toothbrushes, keep them in compartments to keep them from touching and potentially contaminating other brushes.
Don’t keep toothbrushes near the loo. Mythbusters did an episode on this. Although their results showed no ample evidence of germs spraying on the toothbrushes when you flush, it is still comforting to keep them away from the loo as much as possible.
Wash toothbrushes thoroughly. Wash the brushes thoroughly after every use. You don’t want those nasty black things growing on your toothbrush.
Replace toothbrush after recovering from any contagious ailment. As explained earlier, germs can be transferred and you might risk re-infecting yourself.
Replace toothbrushes after three or four months. As much as you’ve showered your toothbrush with TLC, it has to be replaced after three or four months. Over time, the bristles can become worn and it won’t be as effective.