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Most of the things we use in our lives need to be tuned up, updated, adjusted, repaired, or refreshed. Your toothbrush is not one of those things. There isn’t much to it, a handle and some bristles and… well, that’s pretty much it. Even though it is a simple tool it does need a little care to make sure it serves you well.

First, you may have a favorite screwdriver, wrench, spatula, or pen. But you should not keep a toothbrush around too long because it has worked well. In fact, if you have kept around for three months, it is time to throw it out and go shopping for a new one. Even if your toothbrush is not quite three months old, if the bristles are worn out or have been flattened from use, out it goes. Your new toothbrush should have soft bristles and the head should be small enough that you can reach every part of your mouth.

After you brush, don’t just toss your toothbrush in a drawer or in your medicine cabinet. You do need to clean it, but all that is required is to rinse the bristles until they are clear of debris. Once you do that, your toothbrush is clean. Some people have tried putting their toothbrush in a microwave, the dishwasher or boiling water to sterilize it. None of those things kill bacteria, but they can damage the bristles. If you want to place it in an antiseptic solution, do so for about 15 minutes. If you leave it in for any longer, you can do damage to the bristles.

Store your toothbrush upright, in an area where the air can dry it. If your toothbrush is covered, or in a place where it will remain moist, not only can bacteria breed in the bristles, but mold can develop as well. A moldy toothbrush is not something you want to put in your mouth!

To learn more about toothbrush care, or oral hygiene, or if it is time for your regular cleaning and exam, our dentist, Dr. Bradley Dyer will be happy to see you! To make an appointment at Bradley L. Dyer DDS PC in Sevierville, Tennessee, call 865-453-2731 today.