From the first moment you begin to brush your teeth with a toothbrush, the toothbrush becomes infiltrated with disease-causing bacteria from both dental plaque and the external surrounding environment. Yuck!

This is why implementing good practices to reduce bacterial growth on toothbrushes is a very important factor for maintaining good oral health.Controlling bacterial growth in toothbrushes should be a priority to prevent the transmission of bacteria from the external environment, such as sinks, counter tops and human contact into the mouth. As well, minimizing bacterial growth in toothbrushes helps to reduce the risk of continuously re-infecting the mouth with more disease-causing bacteria.

Charcoal-infused toothbrushes: A smarter, cleaner option?

Charcoal-infused toothbrush bristles claim to be antibacterial. In one recent study, the results showed that although the colonies of bacteria in charcoal toothbrushes were less than non-charcoal toothbrushes after 1 week of use, it was not a substantial difference to impact oral health. More research definitely needs to be done to compare both types of toothbrushes after longer tooth brushing time intervals and to evaluate which specific organisms and bacteria are present in each toothbrush.

While manufacturers strive to find antimicrobial substances to add to toothbrush bristles to help reduce bacterial contamination that contribute to oral disease, there are fortunately some good toothbrush hygiene habits that can be practiced at home.

Here are some things you can do to help keep the bacterial contamination of your toothbrush bristles under control:

  • Always thoroughly rinse your toothbrush with warm water after each use, and position it upright to air dry.
  • Never cover or store your toothbrush in closed containers. This will only promote bacterial growth.
  • Keep your toothbrush separate from other family members’ toothbrushes to prevent cross contamination.
  • Keep toothbrushes as far away as possible from toilets and sinks.
  • Do not ever share your toothbrush.
  • Never use a microwave or dishwasher to sanitize your toothbrush.The effectiveness of your toothbrush to clean your teeth could be compromised because of damage done to the toothbrush.
  • Change your toothbrush after a severe cold or flu.
  • Replace toothbrushes every 6-8 weeks and/or as soon as toothbrush bristles become frayed.

Soaking toothbrushes in antimicrobial mouth rinses, such as rinses of the Listerine brand, may help to decrease bacterial levels. However, toothbrushes should not be left to soak in the rinse for long periods. After soaking the toothbrush for at least a few minutes or so, the toothbrush must still be rinsed and allowed to air dry.

Therefore, whether you’re using a charcoal toothbrush, an electric toothbrush or a regular toothbrush to keep those chompers clean, the best way to control and minimize bacterial levels in the bristles is to practice good toothbrush hygiene at home! Taking proper care of your toothbrush is always necessary in order to maintain good oral health.

In need of gentle oral hygiene care from a professional in Vaughan?

Pina Mazza has you and your smile covered! Visit Pina at Maple Dental Hygiene Care today. Email to schedule an appointment, or call 905-597-6342.


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