How clean is your toothbrush? It probably isn’t a question you spend a lot of time thinking about; you rinse it after brushing and place it back in the family mug on the bathroom sink. It’s clean, right?
No, unfortunately, your toothbrush may right now be covered in all sorts of microorganisms that can lead to disease. And if you store your family’s brushes in the same container, it’s not just the stuff on your toothbrush you need to worry about, because germs can be transferred from one brush to another and lead to cross-contamination.
The Stuff on Your Brush
Here’s a look at what your toothbrush may be harboring right now
- Streptococcus mutans – These bacteria are responsible for much of the decay and breakdown of dental enamel.
- Enteric bacteria and pseudomonads – Don’t worry about what it means, just know that it can lead to skin rashes, ear infections, and diarrhea.
- Herpes virus – Studies have found that the herpes virus can live on a dry toothbrush for 48 hours.
- Feces – Sorry, but if you store your toothbrush near your toilet, odds are it’s covered in feces. Studies show that 60 percent of toothbrushes are, and worse yet, they might not be yours.
How to Keep Your Toothbrush Clean
- Store them separately to avoid cross-contamination
- If you keep your brushes in the bathroom, close the lid when you flush, and tell everyone in your family to do the same.
- Replace it every three months, sooner if you’ve had a cold or virus
- Never share your toothbrush or use someone else’s
Call Pruce Dental for More Information
As your dentist in Washington, PA, we want to educate you about anything that affects your oral health, which empowers you to take control of it. Please call to arrange an appointment with Dr. Robert Pruce so he can answer all your questions.