You might think storing your toothbrush in a medicine cabinet or drawer is the best defense against gross airborne particles. However, this is one of the most common misconceptions about toothbrush care. Protecting your toothbrush and yourself from harmful bacteria requires several crucial steps.
You must thoroughly rinse your toothbrush after each use to get rid of residue and shake it to remove excess water. According to the American Dental Association, you should store your toothbrush upright to air dry.
Placing a toothbrush in a holder or cup without touching other toothbrushes or items gives it time to dry naturally before the next use that night or the following morning. The conditions are ideal for microbial growth if the toothbrush is kept in a closed area with moist bristles.
Choosing an incorrect storage method isn’t the only error people often make. Below are the most common mistakes you’re probably making with your toothbrush.
Laying Your Toothbrush Flat
You might already rinse the bristles and shake the brush after using it. However, the good decisions end there if you lay your toothbrush flat on the counter afterward. The leftover water can drip onto the counter if you don’t dry the bristles completely, creating a hospitable environment for bacteria.
Instead of keeping your brush in a horizontal position between uses, buy a toothbrush holder or use a clean and dry drinking glass from your kitchen to store your toothbrush on the bathroom counter.
Keeping Your Toothbrush by the Toilet
If you store your toothbrush upright in a cup or holder, you’re already ahead of many who opt for harmful and flat-out incorrect methods. You might even keep it separate from toothbrushes other members of your household use.
The next step is to ensure it’s not next to the toilet. Some bathrooms are too small to create a significant distance between the toilet and sink, which forces people to store their toothbrushes close to the toilet. That can result in bacteria from the toilet bowl transferring onto a nearby toothbrush with every flush.
According to a study published by the National Library of Medicine, flushing a toilet ejects pathogens from the bowl into the air, allowing transmission by inhalation and contamination. If your toothbrush is within the vicinity, chances are bacteria transfer to it with every flush.
If the layout of your bathroom doesn’t create enough space between the counter and the toilet, consider installing a wall-mounted toothbrush holder as far from the toilet as possible.
Storing Your Toothbrush in the Medicine Cabinet
The minimalist’s goal is to place only essential items on the bathroom counter, such as a soap dispenser and tissue box. Everything else is hidden away in drawers, under the sink, and in the medicine cabinet. Some people store their toothbrushes in the medicine cabinet because the color doesn’t match the décor.
You might not like the aesthetics of keeping your toothbrush out in the open, but it’s better for your teeth, mouth, and gums. If you want your bathroom vanity to look more appealing, consider replacing your toothbrush with a color that complements your décor. Or upgrade the holder or cup to be better suited to your style.
Take Charge of Your Oral Health
Aside from storing your toothbrush in the right place, replacing it every three to four months is necessary for sufficient functionality. If the bristles appear frayed or worn down, you can swap out your brush for a new one sooner than the recommended timeframe.
At Babylon Dental Care, we have provided quality and dependable dental services in West Babylon for over 35 years. We can help keep your teeth and gums in excellent condition with routine cleanings, restorative procedures, and more. Call us at (631) 893-6665 today for an appointment.