Hendricks County residents know it’s important to brush their teeth every day for effective plaque removal and good oral health. But have you ever given any thought to your toothbrush hygiene habits?
Over 100 million bacteria and viruses can live on your toothbrush at any given time – including E. coli and staphylococci (Staph) bacteria. (That’s more microorganisms than people living in Hendricks County and Indiana!) But before you start gagging and swear you’ll never use your toothbrush again, let’s put that into perspective – your mouth contains billions of over 700 different microbes. So the germs on your toothbrush probably won’t make you sick.
Most of these microorganisms are transferred from your mouth to your toothbrush when you brush your teeth. But some of them can come from the environment in which you store your toothbrush. Therefore, it makes sense that you would want to take care of your toothbrush.
Here are five toothbrush hygiene tips you may want to implement to reduce the number of microbes coming in contact with your toothbrush.

  1. Never share toothbrushes. When you share toothbrushes with someone else, you can exchange salvia and microorganisms, which could possibly cause you to come down with an infection.
  2. Thoroughly rinse your toothbrush after use to remove toothpaste and debris. Store your brush in an upright position so it can air-dry. Keep multiple toothbrushes that are stored in the same holder or area separated to prevent cross contamination.
  3. Store your toothbrush away from a toilet. When you flush a toilet, bacteria and fecal matter is released into the air – even 6 feet away from the toilet! You don’t want that bacteria landing on your toothbrush.
  4. Don’t store your toothbrush in a closed container. The moist environment within the container can cause even more microorganisms to grow.
  5. Replace your toothbrush at least every 3 to 4 months. Check your toothbrush often to see if the bristles are frayed or worn. Replace the brush as needed for more effective cleaning.

If you have any questions about toothbrush hygiene, ask the staff at Danville Family Dentistry, located in Hendricks County. We can answer your questions and give you advice about how to take care of your toothbrush correctly. Because toothbrush maintenance is an important step to your good oral care.