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Is it time to brush up on your toothbrush care? Taking care of your toothbrush is extremely important for oral health care maintenance, as it is the tool that keeps your teeth clean and healthy.

Be aware that toothbrushes only last 3-4 months. They should be replaced sooner if they appear frayed or worn, or if they become contaminated. Choose a toothbrush with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This seal is given out by the American Dental Association to individual products that have passed thorough testing for effectiveness and safety. The seal cannot be bought, it must be earned–this ensures you are receiving a quality product.

To avoid contamination of your toothbrush, follow these three simple steps.

First, store your toothbrush in open air, rather than in a closed-off space. Closed spaces allow for rapid bacterial growth. These bacteria then live in your toothbrush and are transferred to your mouth when you brush. If you must store it in a closed space, such as a zip-top bag for traveling, do so for only short periods of time. Be sure to air the brush out as often as possible.

Second, don’t store your toothbrushes near or around other toothbrushes. If you must store it near other toothbrushes for whatever reason, make sure the heads don’t touch. Toothbrush heads store a lot of bacteria even at the best of times, and leaving them touching spreads that bacteria from brush to brush.

Lastly, never share toothbrushes. This is intensely dangerous to your oral health, as it spreads bacteria, disease, food particles, and infection. If someone else uses your toothbrush, throw it away immediately and get a new one.

Be sure to support your toothbrushing efforts by scheduling consistent dental appointments! If you are in the Colorado Springs, Colorado area, call Crabtree Dental Center at 719-599-7453 today! Dr. David Crabtree and our team will be happy to help your smile reach its full potential.