The Improper Storage and Care of Your Toothbrush Can Make You Sick

Fitzgerald DentistA general toothbrush definition would be a specially-designed oral hygiene product that acts as the main defense against tooth decay and the onset of gingivitis by eliminating bacteria, food debris, plaque, and other potentially dangerous agents from the mouth and surrounding tissues.

However, if not properly stored and cared for, a toothbrush definition could also be a mouth-cleaning device composed of tiny bristles that has the capability of passing on a multitude of infectious agents that could prove detrimental to both the oral health and your general health.

Researchers have established that just one toothbrush has the ability to provide a safe haven for over 1 million bacteria.

By learning how to properly store and care for your toothbrush, you can avoid contamination and sickness from this oral hygiene device.

A Breeding Ground for Intense and Potentially Devastating Germs

Numerous studies have been conducted on toothbrushes. These have all concluded that these seemingly helpful apparatuses have the capability of housing intense and potentially devastating germs.

Examples include viruses that cause the influenza, the bacteria that causes staph infections, yeast-based funguses, the virus that results in the development of strep, as well as E. coli. Additionally, these studies have found that approximately 70% of all toothbrushes are contaminated with one or more of these potentially dangerous germs.

While it is true that taking proper oral hygiene steps and our immune system helps prevent us from the devastation caused by these germs, there are instances when they are capable in destroying our body’s defenses and result in the onset of sickness. By properly storing and caring for your toothbrush, you can avoid getting sick from it.

The Problem Lies in How and Where We Store the Toothbrushes That We Use

The fact that toothbrushes have the capability of getting us sick does not lie with the oral hygiene device itself; instead, it rests in how we store them, and where we store them. Nearly all of us place our toothbrushes somewhere in a bathroom; however, the bathroom is the most prevalent location for the formation and growth of bacteria. This is because the room contains a massive amount of moisture and – at various intervals throughout the day – high levels of steam.

Furthermore, the toilet is also located within this room. In order to avoid facing a massive army of germs each time you brush your teeth, you must properly store and care for your toothbrush.

The Air Quality of the Home

The first consideration that must be made when attempting to properly store and care for your toothbrush is the general air quality of your home. Based on information derived from the Environmental Protection Agency, the indoor air quality of all homes is generally two to five times more contaminated and polluted than the air that is on the inside of the home.

This stems from the presence of dust particles, pet dander, chemicals used inside of the home, mites, natural debris brought in on the clothing and/or animals from outdoors, and a vast array of other contaminants. While you may take great strides to keep your home clean, there are pollutants floating around – typically unseen by the naked eye – that have the potential to – and will – contaminate your toothbrush. You must cover the toothbrush to avoid these pollutants.

The Toilet

Now, you may be thinking, “Oh, I don’t store my toothbrush anywhere near my toilet…” The truth of the matter is, it does not matter. If you store your toothbrush in the open areas of your bathroom, it is at risk for becoming contaminated by your toilet. Each time that you flush the toilet, fecal matter becomes airborne and turns into vapor.

The droplets created by float in the air for as far out as six feet from your toilet when flushing. You must ensure your toilet seat is down when flushing, but be aware that this does not prevent all vapor and droplets from escaping the unit. Your toilet houses massive levels of viruses and bacteria. In order to prevent these from getting into your mouth and making you sick, avoid leaving the seat up when flushing, never store your toothbrush within six feet, and always make certain the toothbrush is completely covered.

Never Wrap or Completely Close Up Your Toothbrush

By now, you are probably ready to place your toothbrush in the absolute tightest and most sterile container you can find, right? Despite the overwhelming temptation to do so, do not do this.

You use the toothbrush at least two to three times daily. This means that the oral hygiene device becomes completely wet two to three times a day. If it is not allowed to completely dry between each use, mold, bacteria, and other invasive and potentially harmful agents may start to develop. You must ensure that your toothbrush is completely dry before each use and that it is properly ventilated.

When storing and caring for your toothbrush, be sure to place it handle down in a cover that has small holes. Additionally, you should place it in a medicine cabinet or other cabinet in the bathroom as this will prevent it from being exposed to air pollutants.

The Sink

Your sink looks clean. It does not look like a location that can result in your toothbrush being contaminated, but let’s think about this one…. Where do you wash your hands? What are you washing off of your hands? Where do those droplets of debris and moisture go?

This brings us to our next step to storing and caring for your toothbrush; that is, do not store it near the sink where it can be exposed to the germs that you wash from your hands, water, and more moisture. While the sink is the most convenient and common location for a toothbrush, this can be a dangerous and highly polluted area, in terms of mold, bacteria, and viruses.

Group Sharing and Storage is Out

Your toothbrush is a very personal effect. It should never be shared with anyone – not even the family member that you love the most! Everyone should have their own toothbrush, their own storage cover with ventilation covers, and if they are sick – their own tube of toothpaste! Most people do not share their toothbrushes, but, we had to put that out there.

What people do, though, is store their toothbrushes together. If you do this, make certain that the toothbrushes do not touch one another. Also, make certain each has their own cover, and that everyone is educated on cleaning their toothbrush with hot water after each use, placing their covers on, placing them handles down, and making sure they are completely dry before each use.

In Conclusion

Now that we have outlined some basic steps for properly storing and caring for your toothbrush, let’s wrap it up with a few final points:

  • Before brushing your teeth, make sure you wash your hands with soap and hot water. Immediately after brushing your teeth, you should do the same.
  • Your toothbrush should be replaced with a new one every three months. If you get sick, it should be changed immediately.
  • Always make sure that your toothbrush is completely dry before using it. If you find this challenging, simply alternate between two different toothbrushes.
  • Always close the lid to the toilet when flushing it in order to reduce contaminates in the vapors emitted from the toilet.
  • Do not store your toothbrush near the toilet or the sink. It should be placed in a medicine cabinet or another cabinet.
  • Do not share toothbrushes and take the precautions outlined in this guide when storing toothbrushes close to one another.
  • Clean your toothbrush with hot water after every use.
  • Everyone should have their own toothpaste. This is especially true if someone in the home becomes ill.
  • When storing your toothbrush, be certain to use a lid that includes holes for proper ventilation.

If you would like more tips on storing and caring for your toothbrush to avoid sickness, contact the top-rated dentist in Fitzgerald today by following the link:

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