How to Brush and Floss Your Teeth Properly
How do I brush my teeth?
How do I floss my teeth?
Changing your toothbrush
Cold and flu season never ends and, if you want to stay healthy, practicing good hygiene habits is more important than ever. This includes good toothbrush hygiene.
The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush at least every three to four months. When bristles become frayed and worn with use, cleaning effectiveness decreases. Toothbrushes will wear out more rapidly depending on factors unique to each patient. Check brushes often for this type of wear and replace more frequently if needed. Children’s toothbrushes often need to be replaced more frequently than adult brushes.
Other best practices for toothbrush hygiene include:
- Do not share toothbrushes. Sharing a toothbrush could result in an exchange of body fluids and/or microorganisms between the users of the toothbrush, placing the individuals involved at an increased risk for infections. This practice could be a particular concern for persons with compromised immune systems or existing infectious diseases.
- Thoroughly rinse toothbrushes with tap water after brushing to remove any remaining toothpaste and debris. Store the brush in an upright position if possible and allow the toothbrush to air-dry until used again. If more than one brush is stored in the same holder or area, keep the brushes separated to prevent cross-contamination.
- Do not routinely cover toothbrushes or store them in closed containers. A moist environment such as a closed container is more conducive to the growth of microorganisms than the open air.
Source: American Dental Association