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Germs & Your Toothbrush

Posted on March 5, 2013 in General oral health


toothbrushWe have been told time and time again that washing our hands is the key to keeping germs at bay, but have you ever given much thought to the germs that make it into your mouth?

Most people catch a cold or the flu when they put their bacteria-covered hands in their mouths. Your mouth is a warm, dark, moist space, making it a breeding ground for bacteria that could end up in your bloodstream and weaken your immune system.

Make sure to brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily and use mouthwash. Also be aware that toothbrushes hold germs and infections, so make sure you replace your toothbrush every three to four months or anytime you have been sick.

To help you keep the germs under control, here are our top 4 tips.

Keep it rinsed. Wash off your toothbrush thoroughly with tap water every time you use it.

Keep it dry. “Bacteria love a moist environment,” Harms says. Make sure your brush has a chance to dry thoroughly between brushings. Avoid using toothbrush covers, which can create a moist enclosed breeding ground for bacteria.

Keep it upright. Store your toothbrush upright in a holder, rather than lying it down.

Keep it to yourself. No matter how close you are to your sister, brother, spouse, or roommate don’t ever use their toothbrush. Don’t even store your toothbrush side-by-side in the same cup with other people’s brushes. Whenever toothbrushes touch, they can swap germs.