Keep your dental kit clean to avoid these diseases
As you reach for your toothbrush each morning, you may not realise what’s there on its bristles. It's a fact that 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. Viruses and bacteria from an infected person’s mouth can live for weeks on a toothbrush and continue to cause illness. Even normal, healthy microorganisms can cause infections, especially if they enter your gum tissue due to an injury, a break, or an oral ulcer.
Here are some tips to keep your mouth and your toothbrush clean:
- Do not store in a closed container - The greater moisture in a closed container creates a good environment for the growth of bacteria. Keep your toothbrush in a container when you travel to avoid it picking up dirt or bacteria. Be sure your toothbrush is dry before putting it in the protector or case. Also, be sure to clean your toothbrush protector regularly. Chlorhexidine (found in mouthwash) is the best antibacterial substance to clean the container.
- Wash it - Give your toothbrush a thorough rinse with tap water to remove debris. If you have a systemic illness or immune disorder, you may want to soak it in antibacterial mouthwash or run it through the dishwasher.
- Try deep cleaning -There are many types of toothbrush sanitizers on the market. Some use ultraviolet light to kill microorganisms.
- Store it properly - After use, don’t pop that wet toothbrush back into your medicine cabinet, drawer, or bathroom cup and forget about it. Store it upright, in a rack or cup, where it can dry out. Look for a cover that lets air circulate and prevents mould, but isn’t completely sealed. The lack of air can foster bacteria.
- Change it regularly - Replace your toothbrush about every 3 to 4 months, or when it shows signs of wear. Frayed bristles will not clean the teeth and gums adequately.
- Do not share - Never share your toothbrush with anyone. Toothbrush sharing can transfer saliva and bacteria. Even the kind that causes tooth decay.