Toothbrush Care: Replacing, Cleaning, Storing


Amanda Orvis RDH

Toothbrush Care: Replacing, Cleaning, Storing

In order to maintain a healthy mouth, one must use a clean toothbrush.  Toothbrushing plays a major role in your personal oral hygiene care. When brushing, it is important that you use a clean and functional toothbrush.  Toothbrush bristles can harbor harmful bacteria that can be damaging to our oral health.


The ADA (American Dental Association) recommends replacing your toothbrush every 3 months. The same rules apply to both manual toothbrushes and electric toothbrush heads. Many types of bacteria can be found on toothbrush bristles, these bacteria can continue to multiply over time potentially causing harm to our mouths. Toothbrush bristles also break down over time causing the bristles to fan out, fray or simply fall out.  When your toothbrush bristles break down the toothbrush becomes less effective, making it harder to clean your mouth properly. If you or any member of the family become sick or gets an infection in the mouth, it is important to replace yours or their toothbrush immediately to be prevent that harmful bacteria from spreading or re-infecting you or that person. In order to prevent cross contamination make sure you do not share toothbrushes for any reason.

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After brushing your teeth it is important to thoroughly rinse your toothbrush to remove any additional toothpaste, bacteria and saliva. Germs can hide in your toothbrush bristles and lead to oral infections of not properly cleaned.


After cleaning your toothbrush, it is very important to allow your toothbrush time to thoroughly dry between usages. Designate an area for your toothbrush to dry. Many toothbrush storage containers are available that prop your toothbrush upright and allow the toothbrush to not touch anything else while drying. When traveling, it is just as important to allow your toothbrush to dry between usages. Keeping the toothbrush bristles covered while storing it within your other items during travel is important as well. Small toothbrush storage cases are available at almost all pharmacies and grocery stores. Just make sure the toothbrush is fully dry before storing it in its case.

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5 Quick Rules: 

Do not share toothbrushes

Thoroughly rinse your toothbrush after each use

Leave your toothbrush in an open area to dry after each use

Discard your toothbrush if you become sick or get any dental infections

Replace your toothbrush at least every 3 months

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Stay Hydrated …and Keep Smiling


Ann Clark RDH

     For a lot of people, summer fun means time in the sun and chilling in the pool.  While cool water might feel good on the outside, it won’t lower your core body temperature.  To do that, and avoid dehydration, you need to get enough water and other fluids inside your body.
     Did you know that if you are thirsty or feel worn down, you are already dehydrated?  Other symptoms include light-headedness, headache, fatigue, muscle cramps, or dry mouth.  Diet beverages although thought to make you hungrier and dehydrate you, actually do hydrate you and bonus…make you less hungry says a recent clinical trial published in the June issue of “Obesity”.  Also consuming fruits and vegetables higher in water content can also aide in proper hydration (watermelon, strawberries, lettuce, tomatoes etc).  Staying hydrated can also reduce the risk of other health problems, such as heart disease, hypertension, exercise asthma and hyperglycemia.   Not only is a dry mouth uncomfortable while wearing a sport’s mouthguard, for example, but changes in your saliva’s composition can diminish it’s natural ability to buffer against decay-causing bacteria.
     So keep our summer smile happening!  Drink plenty of fluids-especially water-before, during, and after your fun in the sun!
Information from the American Beverage Association 7/24/14
Referenced-  “3 Tips to Staying Hydrated This Summer”
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