Brushing Up On Bacteria

Thursday, April 26th, 2012, 8:58 pm

What common item in your bathroom has 100 million bacteria living on it? Researchers in one recent study found 100 million bacteria on one uncovered toothbrush. I know it sounds icky. With all those bacteria lurking on your brush should you be worried?

Relax, we’ve got loads of bacteria living in our mouths every day. The reason we brush and floss is to keep the numbers under control. Some  bacteria are good guys and some are bad and cause tooth decay and gum disease – we’re still trying to figure out how to kill the bad ones but keep the good ones around.  Right now all of the toothpastes and mouth rinses attack all the bacteria.

Let’s got back to that dirty toothbrush. Remember that plaque is made up of bacteria so every time you brush to remove plaque you are loading your toothbrush with bacteria. Short of using a disposable toothbrush what can you do to keep your toothbrush clean?

A Few Tips For A Cleaner Toothbrush

Bathrooms are small and yes, toilet water sprays when you flush. Keep the toothbrush away from the toilet area of the bathroom.

Rinse your toothbrush in running water after you have brushed.

Let your toothbrush air dry – don’t use a toothbrush cover that allows moisture to stay on the brush.

Store the brush upright in an open container – laying down allows the bristles to pick up more bacteria.

No sharing your toothbrush. Not with anyone. Period.

Toothbrush sanitizers are an option but most people don’t really need them. The majority of the bacteria on our toothbrushes won’t make us sick. If you have a compromised immune system you may want to consider these.

Change toothbrushes every three months. Change more often if you have been sick or if the bristles on the brush look frayed.

Our bodies are filled with bacteria, in fact we couldn’t live without them, so don’t panic about your toothbrush. Keep oral bacteria in check by brushing, flossing and visiting your dental hygienist regularly.

Contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at  706-886-9439 to schedule your next dental hygiene visit.

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Category: gum disease, oral health

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