Most of us know that daily brushing and flossing can help keep our teeth bright and healthy. Many of us make regular visits to the dentist for checkups and cleanings, too. These steps are a great strategy for oral health care, yet there is one small step that we sometimes overlook: rinsing our toothbrushes.
Do you rinse your toothbrush after every use? If you don’t, here’s a look at why rinsing your toothbrush supports a healthy mouth for a lifetime of beautiful smiles.
Caring for Your Toothbrush: Rinsing
Your toothbrush is a durable instrument designed to remove food particles and plaque from the teeth. Taking care of it is simple, too – all you have to do is rinse it out after each use. Dentists recommend rinsing the brush in warm water to flush away toothpaste, food particles, and bacteria. Gently rub the bristles with your fingers to help clean it out.
Accumulated gunk at the base of the bristles not only looks and tastes gross, but this accumulation can actually impede the flexible nature of the bristles. To be most effective at reaching the spaces between the teeth and at the gum line, those bristles have to be able to flex. A quick rinse takes care of your brush, getting it ready for the next use.
While some people prefer to sanitize their brushes in hot water or in an anti-bacterial solution, the American Dental Association (ADA) states that this extra step isn’t necessary. Air-drying the brush between uses is sufficient to keep bacteria at bay.
More Ways to Care for Your Toothbrush
There are several other handy tips concerning toothbrushes. By following these tips, you can be sure your toothbrush is ready to help you keep your teeth clean and fresh:
- Don’t cover the bristles between uses – this can cause bacteria and molds to grow on the brush. Air-drying is preferred.
- Don’t share your toothbrush with others – this helps to minimize the spread of illnesses.
- Change your toothbrush every three to four months – and it’s a good idea to change it more frequently if the bristles become frayed or bent.
- Throw away your old toothbrush and get a new one after an illness – while retransmission of illness-causing viruses and bacteria is rare, this is a good practice to remember after you’re feeling better.
Finally, for great oral health and a bright, sparkling smile, visit your family dentist regularly. Brushing and flossing go a long way toward preserving our teeth, but routine dentist checkups and cleanings are the key to keeping our mouths as healthy as possible. Dentists can spot problem areas before they cause more serious conditions. Schedule an appointment today for you and for your family, and enjoy a healthy mouth for life!