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Do you know how to properly take care of your toothbrush? Many people don’t fully consider everything they need to in order to properly buy, store, and protect their most-used dental hygiene tool. Here are some things to think about.

You should buy a new toothbrush every 3-4 months. Replace your brush earlier if it becomes contaminated in any way. This is true even if the bristles look “fine.” Replace the brush sooner if the bristles look worn or frayed. It does not matter whether you get an electric toothbrush or a conventional toothbrush, as long as you get one with soft bristles and use proper technique.

Moist, closed areas are excellent breeding grounds for bacteria, so it is beneficial to keep your toothbrush in a dry, well-ventilated area. Store it upright to allow the moisture to drain off.

You should store your toothbrush away from other toothbrushes. If space or travel constraints require you to store your toothbrushes around other brushes, make sure the heads don’t touch! This can cross-contaminate the brushes.

Another surprisingly common way people contaminate toothbrushes is sharing them. This is not only totally gross, but it is also very dangerous to your oral health! Sharing toothbrushes can introduce disease and infection, as well as food particles, plaque, and a host of bacteria. If anyone ever uses your toothbrush, throw it away immediately. Buy a new one as soon as possible. Never use someone else’s toothbrush, and never use your toothbrush for anything other than brushing teeth.

For more information, call Karsant Dentistry in San Francisco, California, at 415-333-3919.  Dr. Peter Karsant and our team are happy to help!