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Safe Storage For Family Toothbrushes

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A toothbrush is the first defence against tooth decay and gingivitis, so it makes sense to ensure that this inexpensive tool is stored and maintained so it can do its job well. Safe storage for family toothbrushes isn't difficult or complex, but it can help keep extra germs and contaminants away from your toothbrushes and your mouth.

Get Some Air

Most families use a simple toothbrush holder to store their toothbrushes between use. This is a fine option, since it keeps the brushes in the open air where they can dry well. According to the ADA storing a moist toothbrush in a closed container promotes microbial growth more so than leaving it exposed to the open air.

A medicine cabinet can be a suitable solution, as long as there is enough air flow to allow the toothbrushes to dry quickly, and the cabinet is cleaned frequently to reduce the bacteria and microbes present inside.

Placement Counts

Keep your toothbrush holder away from the toilet and sink. A research study published on US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health notes that a number of studies have demonstrated the contamination of toilet seats and lids, the surrounding floors, and the nearby surfaces by toilet flush aerosols. Those germs are definitely not something you want attached to your family's toothbrushes!

Storage for family toothbrushes should also not be placed too close to the sink, where toothbrushes can be splashed with soap and dirty water from hand washing. Find a place on your bathroom counter in a far corner, as far from the toilet and sink as possible while keeping the toothbrushes within reach.

If you have a short counter and limited space, consider a wall-mounted toothbrush holder placed far enough above the sink to prevent splashing, and at least four feet from the toilet bowl.

Don't Share

Make sure each member of the family has a different colour or style of toothbrush so that they are easily distinguishable from each other. If you have children, sharing toys is one thing, sharing microorganisms is another. You should also ensure that your family's toothbrushes don't touch each other inside the storage container to make it more difficult for bacteria to transfer from one brush to another.

Clean Frequently

Toothbrush storage containers can become dirty and messy very quickly, so it is important to clean them frequently to prevent build-up of dust, germs and bacteria that can contaminate your family's toothbrushes. Depending on the container, cleaning them can be as simple as wiping them down with an antibacterial cleaner, or washing the container in the dishwasher

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.