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Your toothbrush is not the most sophisticated piece of equipment in your house. Its design is fairly simple, and there are no moving parts. Since that is the case, you might think that once you are done using it, you can toss it in a drawer or your medicine cabinet, and forget about it until that night or the next morning. The truth is that your toothbrush does need a little daily care, but don’t worry, it is not very complicated.

First, your toothbrush needs to be clean and dry when you aren’t using it. Cleaning it means rinsing the bristles until you have removed the food particles. You should not boil or microwave your toothbrush, or run it through the dishwasher to sterilize it. Doing so can damage the bristles. You can soak it in an antibacterial solution, but if you let soak for longer than 15 minutes, you also run the risk of damaging your bristles.

After you have rinsed your toothbrush, you should store it upright and in a place where the air can dry it. If you cover your toothbrush or place it in a drawer or cupboard, bacteria, and even mold can start to form on the bristles. You should store your toothbrush away from the other toothbrushes in your household to prevent the bacteria from one person’s mouth cross-contaminating another person’s toothbrush. If you or someone in your household becomes ill, their toothbrush should be replaced. You may want to consider purchasing disposable toothbrushes to use when you are sick.

Finally, if you have had your toothbrush for more than three months, or if the bristles have become worn or flattened, it is time for a replacement.

As you can see, there is more to good oral hygiene than you might think. If you have questions about caring for your teeth, it is time for a cleaning or exam, or if you are looking for a dentist for you and your family, it’s time to get to know Dr. Ryan Lehmkuhler. If you would like to make an appointment at First Dental in Dodge City, Kansas, call 620-225-5154 today. We look forward to seeing you soon!