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Your toothbrush can be the dwelling place of billions of germs. Keep it from clinging to bacteria by following the steps below.

– Get a new toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles become so frazzled that they aren’t doing the job. If you’ve been sick, swap in a new one after you are well again to avoid getting sick again or accidentally giving your roommate your illness. When buying toothbrush, get only one with soft bristles to keep from brushing too hard.

– Don’t use a communal toothbrush holder. Many families keep their toothbrushes in a cup on the bathroom counter, or have a holder that hardly has any space between the brushes. Touching toothbrushes are a way to transfer bacteria.

– Don’t use the dishwasher. While great for dishes, toothbrushes are not “dishwasher safe.” The designers didn’t have that in mind. It may become damaged and unusable. It might even melt and damage the dishwasher. Don’t risk damaging your expensive dishwasher to clean a .99 cent toothbrush.

– Don’t use a closed container. While you want to keep your toothbrush bristles isolated, a closed container may not let your toothbrush breathe. When the brush head stays moist, bacteria and mold flourishes.

– Do rinse your toothbrush frequently in warm water for 5-10 seconds after you’ve brushed. If you want to drop a dab of the antibacterial hand soap on it, that is OK to do. Just be sure to wash it out too.

If you’re interested in learning more about oral health, call Dr. Steven Oshins and our helpful team at Oshins Of Smiles. Phone: 518-356-5635. Make an appointment or come by our office in Guilderland, New York.