Times Where Sanitizing Your Toothbrush Would Help Keep Your Mouth Healthier
Posted on 7/10/2019 by Neil Starr DDS PC
We advise our patients to brush regularly and be sure they thoroughly rinse their toothbrush. We also suggest that you replace your toothbrush regularly because the bristles do deteriorate with use and will work less effectively.
You should examine your toothbrush every three or four months to examine its condition and decide if it is time to trade it in for a new one.
There are times, however, when sanitizing your toothbrush could be beneficial for your oral health. If you are sick or have cold sores or people in your family are sick, sanitizing your toothbrush can help to minimize the spread of what you think could be transmitted.
How Do I Sanitize It?
If you have cold sores, the flu or other contagious diseases, sanitizing your toothbrush will help to kill the bacteria. You should also isolate your toothbrush from others in your family and be sure it is in a place where the bristles of your brush cannot touch the bristles of other toothbrushes in your home.
To sanitize your toothbrush you should soak the bristles in mouthwash for no more than 15 minutes. Most mouthwashes contain alcohol or antimicrobial agents, which will help disinfect them. However, if you leave the toothbrush soaking in the mouthwash for too long it could damage the bristles of the brush and make them less effective.
Remember that you are sanitizing and not sterilizing your toothbrush. If you are planning to sanitize your brush be sure that no one else uses your toothbrush. Since it is sanitized and not sterilized, you are not removing all of the germs or bacteria that will prevent its transmission to another person in the household.
Once you are better and the risk of contagion is over, throw out the toothbrush you've been using and get a new one.