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There are many things to consider as you properly buy, store, and protect your most-used dental hygiene tool. Here are some things to think about regarding taking care of your toothbrush.

Buy a new toothbrush every 3-4 months. Replace your brush earlier if it becomes contaminated in any way. You should also replace the toothbrush if the bristles look frayed or worn, or stiff (stiff bristles can damage enamel and your gums and should be avoided).

After you use your toothbrush, rinse it well with clean water, then store it upright in a well-ventilated area. This helps prevent bacteria from growing rapidly on your toothbrush. If you must keep it in a closed area temporarily–for example, while traveling–be sure to air it out as much as possible.

Store your brush away from any other toothbrushes. If you must store it near other brushes, make sure the heads don’t touch. This contaminates the toothbrushes.

Sharing your toothbrush is very dangerous to your oral health. Sharing toothbrushes can spread disease and infection, food particles, plaque, and bacteria from someone else’s mouth.

If anyone ever uses your toothbrush, throw it away immediately; buy a new one as soon as possible. If you can’t buy one immediately, put some toothpaste on your clean finger and brush your teeth that way for an evening. Don’t forget to floss!

Never use someone else’s toothbrush–even family or your partner’s. Never use your toothbrush for anything other than brushing teeth.

For more information, call Great Lakes Family Dental in Jackson, Michigan, at 517.787.0550. Dr. Asha Kinra and our team are happy to help!