Did you know that germs and bacteria can accumulate on your toothbrush without you knowing? The average toothbrush contains over 10 million bacteria (according to a study at the University of Manchester) which is more bacteria per square inch than a public restroom floor - which only has about 2 million bacteria per square inch. Dr. Peter Markov, owner and pediatric dentist at VK Pediatric Dentistry, discusses a few oral health habits that are good to follow to help limit the spread of germs.
Here are some tips to make sure you're stopping the spread of germs that may be coming from your toothbrush hygiene habits!
Wash your hands before and after brushing and flossing. Limit the germs and bacteria that can enter your mouth by using clean hands. Stop the spread of germs to others in your household after touching your mouth.
Replace your toothbrush regularly. You should replace a toothbrush about every 3 months or when the toothbrush just starts to show wear. Using a brush with colored bristles that fade when it’s time to replace can be helpful or set a calendar reminder.
A not so obvious and often forgotten healthy tip is to replace your brush if you do feel yourself getting sick and to replace it again after you’re over the sickness.
Keep your toothbrush away from everyone else’s in the house! Airborne bacteria can transfer from one brush to another, especially if they are shared in the same holder or cup.
If you are sick, use your own tube of toothpaste. Don’t share it with the rest of the household. Bacteria from toothbrush bristles can stay on the tube of toothpaste and then transfer to the next person who uses that tube.
Make sure to fully rinse your brush after use and let it dry. Hold brush under hot water to help soften the bristles and loosen particles trapped between them. Switch to cold water and use your thumb to rub bristles to clear away any trapped particles. Skip using a toothbrush cover at home because microorganisms are more likely to grow in a moist environment.
Clean your toothbrush holder with soap and water at least weekly. We recommend using something that is open / airy to allow proper airflow and drying.
Place your toothbrush as far away from the toilet as possible. Flushing the toilet can send particles floating as far as 6 feet away, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. We like to recommend storing your toothbrush in a medicine cabinet that is the most commonly used.
VK Pediatric Dentistry
5001 Lee Hwy, Arlington VA 22207
Schedule An Appointment Today in Arlington, Virginia at VK Pediatric Dentistry
If you haven't taken your child to a pediatric dentist yet or would like to schedule an appointment, Dr. Peter and the highly skilled team at VK Pediatric Dentistry are just a phone call away. Schedule an appointment online or call us today at 703-962-7814. We look forward to providing your children a lifetime of healthy and happy smiles!