Right now, especially during this pandemic, it is highly important to wash your hands thoroughly. Washing your hands helps prevent you from getting sick. But, what about your toothbrush? According to researchers at the University of Manchester in England, your toothbrush is covered in a wide variety of germs. In a recent study, researchers discovered over 100 million bacteria living on an uncovered toothbrush, including E. coli, a bacteria that can cause diarrhea, and staphylococci, a bacteria that can cause skin infections.
Did you know that your mouth is covered in millions of bacteria? And, if you haven’t brushed your teeth in a while, your mouth might have more bacteria than everyone on the planet. The reason you brush your teeth has to do with the removal of bacteria from your mouth. Plaque, the sticky substance that you need to brush away in order to remove it from your teeth, is a bacteria, so every time you brush you’re placing bacteria on your toothbrush. This doesn’t mean not brush your teeth.
So, what should you do to help prevent more bad bacteria from entering your mouth? A good rule of thumb is to replace your toothbrush head every three months. In the meantime, it’s important that you thoroughly rinse your toothbrush after each use, and store it upright so it can dry properly. You might have to replace it sooner, though, especially if you’ve been sick. If you’ve had an illness like the cold or flu, strep throat, or other mouth-based infections, you’re at risk to become reinfected if you don’t change out your toothbrush. If you can’t seem to get well after being sick, it could be because you keep introducing the bacteria into your mouth straight off your toothbrush head.
Here are some other healthy tips:
- Rinse off your toothbrush after every use.
- Keep it dry.
- Store it upright.
- Do not store your toothbrush near a toilet.
- Don’t share your toothbrush.
- Replace your toothbrush, often.
Here at Cox Family Dentistry, we want to be sure that you have the best oral health. If you find that you keep getting sick, it could be due to your toothbrush. If you have questions about your oral health we will be happy to answer them. If it has been a while since you have come in to see Dr. Cox, be sure to schedule your dental appointment today.