Give the following query a quick thought- Are you aware of what’s lurking on the toothbrush you use each day and night for a sparking smile and minty fresh breath? Your mouth cleaning, manual or power driven toothbrush can generously accomodate more than hundred million bacteria! That piece of information did come as an unexpected surprise to you, right? No matter how astounding it may sound, the above data is a proved dental fact.
This does include the destructive E.coli bacteria, which gives many a hard time by causing diarrhoea as well as Staphylococci bacteria, which is responsible for many type of skin reactions and infections. Knowing so, you must not panic! One of the key reasons why toothbrushes are loaded with several microorganisms and pathogens is because the oral cavity has a truckload of them every single day.
However, the main concern begins when the toothbrush being put to use for removal of plaque, calculus and harmful germs is untended, thereafter. Each time you clean your brush and tongue surface, you are transferring oral bacteria from the mouth onto the bristles of the toothbrush. The Maryland Children’s Oral Health Institute states that once transferred on the surface of the toothbrush, oral bacteria can successfully thrive for a substantially long span of time.
Reasons to Kill Bacteria on Your Toothbrush
Sanitizing any toothbrush is imperative because the moist atmosphere of the washroom creates an optimal environment for bacterial species to grow and sustain themselves indefinitely. Plus, the effectiveness of brushing is diluted when the tuft being applied to the teeth surfaces already harbours plenty of microorganisms.
Although the human body is strong enough to defend itself from such bacteria, we must take all the necessary steps to keep our toothbrush absolutely spic and span so that bacteria do not get the chance to translate into health problems. In short, if you sanitize your toothbrush using the below described easy methods and supplies, good health is easy to maintain.
Use Clean Hands
One must always make it a point to wash hands both, prior to and after using the toothbrush. This prevents transmission of germs from the hands onto the toothbrush handle or shaft.
Even Toothbrushes Need A Rinse
Each time you pick up your cleaning device to brush away the food and plaque deposits, do not forget to give the brush a quick rinse. One of the easiest ways to decontaminate a toothbrush is to place it under running water after you are done brushing properly.
As the water runs through the multiple tufts of soft bristles, gently move either your thumb or index finger over and through them. This aids in loosening and dislogement of small food pecks as well as leftover toothpaste. Do not leave the toothbrush wet, instead pat the surface completely dry using a clean paper towel.
Extend the Shelf Life of Toothbrush with Salt
The multi-useful mineral, salt can certainly be used to kill the bacteria hiding in the toothbrush. Follow the given procedure to refresh and sanitize the nylon bristles. Pour some hot water in a glass, long enough for your toothbrush to sink in. Mix to dissolve approximately two table spoons of normal or sea salt to the hot water. Dip the toothbrush with its bristles facing towards the base of the glass. Leave it there for thirty to sixty minutes for best cleansing.
Use the Dishwasher
To properly sanitize the manual toothbrush, you can make use of a dishwasher. The Maryland Children’s Oral Health Institute has approved this method. Make sure you place the toothbrush on the top, and not the bottom rack as the chances of heat damage in the bottom rack are more.
In case you do not have a dishwasher, you can try using a microwave for the same results. The radiation your toothbrush will receive on being kept inside the microwave for ten to fifteen seconds is more than sufficient to combat germs. For an electric toothbrush, you must dettach the head before putting it in the microwave.
Baking Soda for a Clean Toothbrush
To get rid of the bacteria clinging to your toothbrush, pour lukewarm water into a cup. Add and stir two tea spoons of baking soda to the water. Now, soak the bristles into the solution prepared for a minimum duration of two hours. Do so at least twice or thrice in a week. The last step is to rinse the brush with water and leave it upright so that the excess liquid can drain off.
Another alternative is to prepare a strong acting disinfectant solution. The ingredients needed include half a cup of hydrogen peroxide and a cup containing water. Carefully dip the toothbrush bristles in the diluted vinegar solution to effectively refresh the toothbrush. This method must b repeated every week for long lasting sanitization.
Leave the Toothbrush Uncovered
Many people make the terrible mistake of storing the head portion or the entire toothbrush in airtight containers. That is completely not required. In fact, a moist or warm environment favours the growth and sustainenance of bacterial organisms.
Never Share Your Toothbrush
It is definitely unacceptable to share a toothbrush, even if it is being shared with someone in the family.
Sharing leads to contamination of the toothbrush with not only germs from your mouth but also those coming from the person you are sharing the tooth brush with. Please avoid so. Also, keep your toothbrush facing away from the others instead of contacting.
Antibacterial Soap for Cleaning Toothbrush
This is another easy way of cleansing the toothbrush. Once you have applied the antibacterial soap on the bristles and handles, do not forget to rinse it off thoroughly. Take a look at the toothbrush after rinsing to check for soap residue, if any.
Soak the head of the toothbrush in a cup containing 3% hydrogen peroxide and water. Leave it for thirty minutes or so and allow it to air dry. Once a week soaking session is good enough to ward off the bacteria.
Machines as Toothbrush Sanitizers
Nowadays, it is easy to purchase commercially available ultraviolet sterilizing lamps that destroy almost 99.9% of harmful microbes via rays. Other products utilize either dry heat or steam. It is advisable to go for those sanitizers that have received approval from the FDA.