Is Your Toothbrush Getting You Sick?

There are about 100-200 species of oral bacteria living in your mouth. When you brush your teeth, this bacteria gets on your brush. Add to that another unsavory fact:  The average toothbrush can contain 10 million bacteria.  It’s no wonder when brushes are stored in the moist bathroom environment.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), taking good care of your toothbrush will get rid of most microorganisms. Here are suggestions:

  1. Scrub your hands with soap and warm water before and after brushing.
  2. Protect from splash-back. If you store your toothbrush on the bathroom sink, as most of us do, don’t forget that washing your hands contaminates the brush.
  3. Keep the toilet lid down.When you flush, toilet spray particulate remains airborne and can settle on your brush.
  4. Replace your brush regularly. The American Dentist Association suggests you get a new brush every three to four months. Buy a new brush after any illness to prevent contamination.
  5. Use the right toothpaste. Toothpastes with triclosan/copolymer are better at killing germs than regular fluoride toothpastes.
  6. Don’t share toothbrushes. Also, make sure they don’t touch if stored together.
  7. Rinse your toothbrush in tap water. Germs from your mouth and teeth take hold on the brush itself so rinse at the end.
  8. Air-dry your toothbrush. Don’t store your toothbrush in an airtight container where it is more likely to grow bacteria. Always brush your teeth with a dry toothbrush.

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