3 Ways You're Probably Not Taking Care Of Your Toothbrush (But Should Be!)

Cosmetic Dentist Serving Austin, Bee Cave, Lakeway and Nearby Areas of Texas


Little boy and his father flossing teeth in bathroomYour toothbrush is one of the most critical tools in your dental hygiene arsenal. It is the first line of defense against plaque and bacteria that can lead to cavities and gum disease. But how well are you taking care of your toothbrush? 

Chances are, you're not doing everything you could be to ensure that your toothbrush stays clean and effective. You might be unknowingly doing things that are actually harming your toothbrush – and your teeth! 

Keep reading to learn more about three ways you're probably not taking care of your toothbrush – and how to fix them.

Way #1: You're Not Rinsing It Off Properly

Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after brushing. Doing this will wash away any toothpaste, plaque, or bacteria remaining on the bristles. Yet many people only rinse their toothbrushes under the tap. 

It's time to do more to clean your toothbrush. For best results, rinse your toothbrush under running water for 30 seconds. Make sure your toothbrush is clean before using it again. 

After brushing, rinse your mouth and toothbrush. Any leftover bacteria or debris will disappear this way. You can also use an antibacterial mouthwash for extra protection.

Way #2: You're Not Storing It in a Safe Place

Keep your toothbrush in a safe, clean place when not in use. Despite this, many people leave their toothbrushes on the counter. 

It's a big no-no. Airborne particles and bacteria settle on bristles when left out in the open. Open-air toothbrushes harbor more bacteria than closed-air toothbrushes. 

So, what's the best way to store your toothbrush? The American Dental Association recommends storing your toothbrush in a clean, dry place. This can be a toothbrush holder, cup, or anything else that will protect your toothbrush from bacteria. 

Way #3: You're Not Replacing It Often Enough

Most people don't think twice about replacing their toothbrushes. Yet, it's crucial to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months or sooner if the bristles become frayed. 

Why is it so important to replace your toothbrush? Over time, toothbrushes can become home to bacteria and debris. This can increase your risk of developing cavities or gum disease. 

A frayed toothbrush bristle also can't remove plaque and bacteria as effectively. When your toothbrush's bristles wear down, it's time to replace it. 

Call 512-329-5967 to schedule an appointment with Dr. John Schmid in our Austin dental office.