When was the last time you changed your toothbrush?
Like clinging to sneakers, underwear, and sleepwear that go way beyond the best, we are probably all guilty of using the same brush for a little too long.
When you think about how easily toothpaste residue can build up, the idea of sticking the same piece of plastic or bamboo in your mouth for too long can be a pretty stomach-twisting thought.
So how often should you actually turn things upside down? Do you need to clean your dirty toothbrush? And what happens if you use a toothbrush for too long?
We asked the orthodontist Dr. Chaw-Su Kyi by westlondonorthodontist.co.uk to explain.
How often do you need to clean a toothbrush?
“As a rule of thumb, you should always clean your toothbrush after use.
“It’s as simple as running the brush underwater to remove any remaining toothpaste or food that might be left on the bristles.
“I recommend letting the brush air dry afterwards. Do not cover your wet brush with a holder, as this can potentially collect germs.”
What’s the best way to clean a toothbrush?
“The best thing is to just rinse it off with running water immediately after use. However, you can also clean it more thoroughly every few weeks by swirling the toothbrush head in a cup of mouthwash for about 30 seconds.
“For a DIY cleaner, you could also try using prosthesis tablets that have been dripped into water.
“They have traditionally been used to disinfect dentures that contain a plastic component and are safe to use on toothbrushes. Just make sure you always follow the instructions.”
How often should a toothbrush or toothbrush head be replaced?
“Ideally every three months or earlier when the bristles fray significantly.
“As a general hygiene rule, you should change your toothbrush about four times a year.”
Can I feel sick if I fail to change my toothbrush?
“Germs and microorganisms can build up on your toothbrush if it’s not cleaned, but there is no clear evidence that you are uncomfortable.
“However, I think this is all part of a clean hygiene routine. You wouldn’t consider wearing the same dirty clothes every day for a year. So there’s no reason not to rinse your brush with water or after using it forgetting to replace it every three months. “