Is Your Toothbrush Making You Sick?

It is true there are more bacteria in your mouth than anywhere else on your body and some bacteria transmits on your toothbrush when you brush your teeth.  Typically people usually store their toothbrush in the bathroom where airborne bacteria lives due to the warm, moist environment.

However, the truth is, there is no clinical evidence that soaking a toothbrush in an antibacterial mouth rinse or using a toothbrush sanitizer has any positive or negative effect on health.  These products won’t hurt you, but they aren’t helping you stop the spread of germs either.  It is also important to remember that the dishwasher and microwave are not safe environments for toothbrushes either, nor will they do any good in cleaning your toothbrush.

So are there any possible ways to remove microorganisms from a toothbrush?

Below are some ways to beat the bacteria:

  • Always wash your hands with soap and warm water before and after brushing or flossing.
  • After brushing your teeth, rinse your toothbrush with warm water and store it upright to air-dry.
  • Don’t cover your toothbrush until it is completely dry.
  • Use a completely dry toothbrush. Everyone should have two toothbrushes to give ample time (24 hours) for it to dry out in between uses.
  • Don’t share a toothbrush with anyone.
  • Don’t touch your toothbrush with someone else’s toothbrush.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three or four months.
  • Always replace your toothbrush after a cold or other illness.
  • If you or someone else in your family is sick, that person should use a different tube of toothpaste (travel size, for example), to prevent spreading germs to other toothbrushes.
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