When to Get a New Toothbrush
Did you know there might be more than a million bacteria living on your used toothbrush? According to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 70 percent of all used toothbrushes are contaminated with bacteria. Staph bacteria, E. coli, yeast fungus and the viruses responsible for the flu and strep can all take up residence on your toothbrush. You might be coating your teeth, gums and cheeks with these bacteria and viruses every time you brush. Putting these germs directly into your mouth increases your risk for getting sick. Fortunately, good hygiene, biological dentistry and a robust immune system prevent your toothbrush from making you sick most of the time. Replacing your old toothbrush with a new, clean one will also help since a fresh toothbrush is much cleaner than a used one. Toothbrushes are relatively clean and germ free when they come out of the sterile package but they do not stay pristine for long. Toothbrushes get germy because most people keep them in the warm, dark and moist environment of the bathroom where germs love to live. What’s worse is that people often keep toothbrushes near the toilet, another favorite spot for bacteria and viruses.
Biological and holistic dentistry specialists recommend changing your toothbrush regularly because they know that oral health can affect the rest of the body, especially when it comes to germs. Bacteria and viruses introduced into your mouth can spread to your nasal passages and digestive tract causing respiratory and gastrointestinal problems. The germs in your mouth can lead to staph infections, strep, colds, flu and more. The American Dental Association recommends everyone replace his or her toothbrushes every two to three months. Replace your toothbrush sooner if the bristles fray, as bacteria and viruses love to hide in nooks and crannies. You should also replace your toothbrush after you recover from a cold, flu, or other digestive or respiratory illness. When you are sick, you can transfer germs from your mouth onto your toothbrush, where they wait to re-infect you later. Replacing your toothbrush after an illness also reduces the risk for passing germs from your toothbrush to other toothbrushes nearby. Your holistic dentist may recommend you change your toothbrush every few days if you have a weak immune system due to illness or chemotherapy. Replace your toothbrush more often if you cannot store it in a well-ventilated area away from the germy toilet, humid shower or other features in your bathroom that encourage the growth of germs. When you replace your toothbrush, choose the right brush for your dental needs. A soft-bristled brush is usually best for removing plaque and debris where germs like to live. Replace a large-headed toothbrush with a small-headed one so you can reach all the areas of your mouth. For more information about why it is important to replace your toothbrush regularly, contact Natural Horizons Wellness Centers today.