Fight Germs: Keep Your Toothbrush Clean

It's a fact: germs are lurking everywhere. From the people we come in contact with, to the objects we touch throughout the day, we are constantly exposed to germs. One place that should be a germ-free zone, however, is your toothbrush. Taking extra precautions to ensure that your entire family keeps their toothbrushes clean is one great way to fight germs and keep everyone healthy. Here are some tips to keep your mouth and your toothbrush clean.

Never Share Your Toothbrush

It's important to never share your toothbrush, even with other members of your family. Each member of your family should have their own toothbrush in order to prevent cross-contamination. When a toothbrush is shared, there is an increased risk of developing infections or diseases because of the exchange of microorganisms and body fluids.

Wash Your Hands

Throughout the day, your hands come in contact with a number of germs. One of the simplest ways to ensure you aren't spreading these germs is to wash your hands. Therefore, it's always a good idea to wash your hands before brushing your teeth. Following this step helps to prevent you from spreading any germs from your hand onto your toothbrush and, ultimately, to inside your mouth.

Rinse

After you have used your toothbrush, take a few moments to rinse it off. Run the toothbrush under the faucet for several moments to ensure that it is clean. This step helps to rid the brush of any toothpaste, food particles or other debris that may have become lodged inside the bristles.

Keep Moisture Away

It might seem like an oxymoron to keep moisture away from your toothbrush, but it's important if you plan to keep your toothbrush clean. After you have used your toothbrush and rinsed it, store it in an upright position in order to keep moisture away. A toothbrush holder that allows both the top and bottom of your toothbrush the chance to breathe is an ideal option.

Replace Your Toothbrush

Replacing your toothbrush periodically is another important step to take if you want to fight germs. According to the American Dental Association, it's a good idea to replace your toothbrush every three to four months. However, it's important to note that this is merely a guideline. If the bristles on your brush become damaged or frayed before then, you need to replace it right away. Bristles that are worn can't efficiently clean your teeth, increasing your chance for dental disease.

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How to FLOSS

  1. Pull 18 to 24 inches of dental floss from the floss dispenser.

  2. Wrap the ends of the floss around your index and middle fingers.

  3. Hold the floss tightly around each tooth in a C shape; move the floss back and forth in a push-pull motion and up and down against the side of each tooth.

How to BRUSH

  1. Place the toothbrush at a 45°angle along the gum line. Move the toothbrush in a back and forth motion, and repeat for each tooth.

  2. Brush the inside surface of each tooth, using the same back and forth technique.

  3. Brush the chewing surface (top) of each tooth.

  4. Use tip of brush to brush behind each tooth — front and back, top and bottom and up and down strokes.

  5. Be sure to brush your tongue to remove odor-causing bacteria.

Don’t brush off your oral health

Brushing and flossing are the keys to a healthy smile. Check out of products to find what’s right for you.