Keeping a clean toothbrush and practicing oral hygiene care habits should be regular parts of our daily lifestyles. However, it hasn’t always been that way. You might encounter this a bit bizarre, but people started brushing their teeth as we do today near the forties.
Yes, it took humanity thousands of years to realize the importance of proper oral hygiene care. However, rudimentary versions of the toothbrush and toothpaste developed during the XIX century.
Concerns about the gravity of poor oral hygiene measures gained popularity in the last part of the previous century. Also, dental hygiene concerns matched the development of orthodontic braces that were attached through brackets to teeth for the first time in the sixties.
But what does this tell us? In short, we are now more aware of the importance of proper oral hygiene and having straight teeth, which also impacts the sanitation of our mouths, but predominantly, they help us live healthfully.
Poor oral hygiene has adverse consequences for our oral and overall health. For example, wearing brackets combined with poor oral hygiene exacerbates the possibility of oral contamination. It might lead to tooth decay (dental plaque, dental caries) and gum disease (periodontal disease) that could collapse our teeth to the point of losing dental pieces (tooth loss) or contamination of other organs.
Awareness is crucial to enjoying healthy teeth with us for our entire lifespan. Incidentally, an underestimation of small things like the utensil with which we opened this discussion, the toothbrush, might be harmful.
So, this enjoyable article treats some crucial considerations about taking proper care of your toothbrush so you keep your mouth as freer of bacteria to the most possible and have a healthy mouth.
Proper Disinfection to Keep a Clean Toothbrush
Let’s keep it straight; today, we can get an immense array of products that allow us to have more detailed oral and dental hygiene. We just have to walk through the oral hygiene aisles of a supermarket, and bang, there they are, dozens of cleansing and disinfecting products.
Also, before we continue, we must bring up a disgusting fact you might not know. So here it goes, feces in your bathroom land on your toothbrush in the form of airborne particles.
Scientific studies reveal clinical evidence about toilet plume bioaerosol production that contaminates your toothbrush and might be a cause of an infectious disease transmission.
So, before we start digging into counteracting bacteria with store products, you might first start following a straightforward step, close the toilet’s lids while flushing, and keep your toothbrush as far as possible from it.
Now, back to the question, here we list some of the most reliable complementary products you can use to keep your toothbrush as fresh and clean as when you first unpacked it.
Easy, very easy, and handy. Yes, a UV sterilizer is an easy, reliable, and packable option to keep your toothbrush clean at all times. But what is it? And does it work?
A UV sanitizer is a high-tech device that uses short-wavelength ultraviolet light to kill or inactivate microorganisms by destroying nucleic acids and disrupting their DNA, rendering them unable to perform vital cellular functions.
When referring to liquid disinfection, we mean using oral care solutions and other products you can find at stores with antibacterial properties that neutralize or kill bacteria. A list of these products includes the following:
Hydrogen Peroxide Solution
Hydrogen peroxide is water, but it has an extra oxygen molecule. In chemical terms, this extra molecule “oxidizes,” meaning it can kill germs and bacteria. Nonetheless, we must know about the appropriate concentration values of the product before using it.
A safe concentration for in-house sanitation purposes of hydrogen peroxide is 3%; this means that the resting 97% is water. Therefore, a convenient form of using hydrogen peroxide is to mix a cup of water with a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide.
Use a small cup and use just enough antibacterial mouthwash to cover the toothbrush bristles (brush head) to get it fully inserted into the cup. Leave your toothbrush in mouthwash for thirty seconds.
The recommended use of sodium bicarbonate, aka Baking Soda, is to mix two tablespoons of the cleansing agent with a cup of water. Sodium bicarbonate has weak disinfectant properties but good enough to work on your toothbrush.
Using vinegar to disinfect a toothbrush is a brilliant idea, with the sole dilemma that it might leave an unpleasant taste. However, use vinegar once a week, and you will get a good enough disinfection.
Denture or Retainer Cleaners
Numerous brands of cleaners for dentures and retainers come in tablets or powders that dissolve in water. These products contain detergents and acidic components that have antibacterial properties.
An important note is to remember to change all these solutions after every use.
How to Keep a Clean Toothbrush?
Now that you know the fundamental of toothbrush disinfection, it is plausible to avoid having to disinfect it often or at least follow a protocol to maintain it clean. Here we include a shortlist of things you can do:
- Have an alternate toothbrush to use one toothbrush while the other air dries.
- Rinse your toothbrush with hot water.
- Try rubbing the bristles with your thumb, and accompany this action with a rush of hot water.
- Air dry your toothbrush and avoid having it in a damp place. A humid environment is perfect for bacterial growth. Moreover, avoid keeping it in a toothbrush cover.
- Shake excess water after every use (mechanical ventilation).
- Keep your toothbrush apart from other toothbrushes.
- If possible, keep your toothbrush in your dorm, far from the bathroom.
- Clean the toothbrush container and the area where you have your toothbrush with a disinfectant.
- Not all of us have the same oral bacteria, so to prevent cross-contamination, avoid sharing your toothbrush.
How Often to Replace Your Toothbrush?
As we’ve seen so far, we tend to underestimate our reliance on this little instrument named the toothbrush. If we think about it, the manual toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste combined are the primary foreign defense mechanism we have against harmful bacteria and oral diseases associated with it that affect oral health.
To give the toothbrush the credit it deserves, we must be conscious of its useful life and replace it as soon as we notice the bristles are no longer straight. Bent or laterally dispersed bristles fail to collect food debris from between teeth.
The American Dental Association recommends toothbrush replacement on a regular basis, after every three to four months. If you brush twice daily, you might also want to check how your toothbrush is doing and if it really helps clean your mouth. To ensure your toothbrush is in good condition, check if it cleans your teeth as a sign for replacement.
Markham Orthodontics Cares About the Smallest Details
Having a worn toothbrush makes a significant impact on your daily oral hygiene routine with braces. Failing to remove dirt and food particles from your teeth and braces could deprive you of the stunning benefits of getting a straight smile. Schedule an appointment, and our kind staff will gladly assist you with all your orthodontic needs.