Did you know that 600 different kinds of microorganisms have been identified in any one person’s mouth? Did you also know that these bacteria are harmless unless the correct environmental influence allows them to thrive causing infection and decay? Your oral health habits at home remain vital to maintaining a clean, healthy mouth. Those who brush with fluoride toothpaste and floss routinely usually display a healthier mouth and a longevity for teeth, gums, and other soft tissues as they age. Important to preventive dentistry is your toothbrush, the oral cleaning device of home dental care. Dr. Loukas and the team at Loukas General Dentistry would like to explain the importance of caring for your toothbrush.
Just like rinsing your mouth out, you should be rinsing your toothbrush after use. Food particles, saliva, and blood droplets may remain after use, which his somewhat expected if you are cleaning your teeth. However, the bacteria in your mouth prefer a dark, damp environment filled with sugar and refined carbohydrates to survive and thrive. Rinsing your brush after use prevents the chance that these bacteria or various viruses that may be present in your saliva or blood remain on your toothbrush.
Storing your oral cleaning device somewhere to allow for an “air dry” effect remains important. Your toothbrush should remain close to vertical and in an area that is open and allows for air movement. A cabinet or case disallows the effective transference of oxygen, which allows for anaerobic bacteria to potentially survive on your toothbrush in-between uses. Also, remember to store your brush separate from any other person’s brush to prevent cross-contamination.
Your brush should be replaced every 3 to 4 months, or when the bristles begin to fray. The integrity of your toothbrush should be viewed as a direct mirror to the integrity of your teeth. If you keep this in mind, you will rarely forget to replace your oral cleaning device when necessary.
Sharing a toothbrush is ill advised and should not be practiced in any circumstance. The possibility of cross-contamination may cause sickness, disease, or transference of bacteria or viruses.
If you’re about to kick an illness or are around someone who may be ill, replacing your toothbrush and keeping it stored separately from that person’s brush is helpful in preventing transference from occurring.
About Loukas Dentistry
Dr. Maria and Dr. Thanasi Loukas strive to educate their patients on preventive dentistry practices to improve oral health. Our doctors at Loukas General Dentistry draw upon years of extensive training and hands-on experience to provide superb restorative, preventive, and cosmetic dentistry in Park Ridge. They proudly treat patients from Park Ridge and the surrounding Chicago communities. To schedule a consultation, please call (847) 696-1919.
What type of brush should I use? Harder bristles will probably clean better, right?
Actually, we suggest soft bristles. Otherwise you could end up damaging your enamel!