Do Germs Live on My Toothbrush?

Post by: / January 28, 2014

Ever wondered how clean your toothbrush is – or considered what might be lurking in between bristles?  This blog post may seem alarming to people who happily leave their toothbrush sitting out on the bathroom counter and use it until the bristles are misshapen and incapable of cleaning anything, let alone plaque off tooth surfaces.  Reality is that there are more germs on a toothbrush than on a toilet brush!  Yes, hard to accept but true – the toothbrushes that we grab several times throughout the day are breeding grounds for millions of bacteria and germs.

It doesn’t help that our mouths are un-sterile environments – chocked full of germs and microorganisms – capable of spreading to your toothbrush while you are diligently cleaning your teeth.  What’s important to mention is that if you’ve just had a head cold, flu, or strep-throat, your toothbrush will be full of the germs that made you sick – potentially delaying your recovering and making you feel under the weather for longer than is needed.  So throw your toothbrush out if you haven’t already – and replace it with a new brush that stays in a bathroom cabinet in an upright position to enhance drying and to protect it from bacteria in the air.  Curious to know what else you can do to eliminate and minimize germs on your toothbrush:
1.            Never share a toothbrush – no matter how much you like your ‘bestie’ they have to bring their own toothbrush to school or social events and stay well away from yours – sharing your toothbrush is an absolute NO-NO!!

2.            Rinse it and Rinse it again! – brushing your teeth and throwing your wet, toothpaste full toothbrush in to a drawer or container creates the perfect environment for bacteria to grow.  Bacteria love warm moist environments so avoiding placing a toothbrush cover on the head of the brush when bristles are still wet.  Rinse your brush well and allow to dry in an upright position.

3.            Replace your toothbrush regularly – toothbrushes aren’t designed to last forever – they have served their time at the 3 month mark or as soon as bristles become flared.  Remember that your General Dentist provides a new toothbrush at your routine cleaning, so take advantage of this service and schedule a cleaning today.

4.            Consider purchasing a UV toothbrush cleanerSonicare is one of the leading electric toothbrush manufactures and offer a UV Sanitizer to destroy bacteria that lurk in amongst bristles.  The sanitizer that is part of the charger fits two Sonicare Toothbrush Heads and just takes ten minutes to perform the sanitizing action.

Calgary and Airdrie Orthodontist – Dr. Cory Liss – encourages patients to throw out all old mangy toothbrushes and start today with a new brush that is germ free.  Some dentists suggest rinsing with an anti-bacterial rinse like Listerine prior to brushing to keep germs to a minimum.  For more information regarding your dental health – contact Cory Liss Orthodontics today 403.287.0746