In this article there is bad news, good news and bad news again. All are related to the good habit of brushing your teeth.
Before the ‘news’ however, let us do a refresher on oral hygiene. To keep your beautiful smile shining, the American Dental Association (ADA) has recommended brushing your teeth two times daily, in the morning and in the evening. They also recommend use of a soft-bristled brush. For optimum dental health, the ADA suggests brushing your teeth for a minimum of 2 minutes each time, and to make sure you brush every tooth.
Now for the bad news. According to researchers at the University of Manchester in England, your toothbrush is home to more than 100 million bacteria including E. coli and staphylococci bacteria. The University of Alabama at Birmingham found also that fecal germs were on your toothbrushes. Yes, you read that correctly. You may be brushing your teeth with “fecal germs”.
The good news is that your mouth is also full of bacteria and your toothbrush probably won’t make you sick, but there are ways to keep it clean so you stay healthy.
You probably won’t get an infection from your own toothbrush even if your brush is covered in bacteria. Your healthy immune system can usually take care of any bacterial invaders. However, you should still care for your toothbrush properly and keep it clean.
The final bad news is that where you store your toothbrush in your bathroom may be a problem. In most bathrooms, the toilet is very close to the sink, where most people keep their toothbrushes. Did you know that every time you flush, bacteria are released into the air – and you don’t want that bacteria to get on your toothbrush. So keep that brush as far away from your toilet, as in your medicine cabinet and always close the toilet lid before flushing.
Toothbrush holders as well can pick up bacteria that are spread by toilet flushing. A study by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) found that toothbrush holders are the third-most germ laden household items (behind dish sponges and kitchen sinks). Remember to clean your toothbrush holder regularly to remove germs.
Finally remember to rinse your toothbrush thoroughly with tap water every time you use it. Let it dry thoroughly between brushings. Don’t use toothbrush covers, which can create a moist enclosed breeding ground for bacteria. Keep your toothbrush upright in a holder, rather than lying it down. Don’t ever use anyone else’s toothbrush, or let someone use yours. And finally the ADA recommends replacing your toothbrush every three to four months, or more often if bristles become frayed, if you are sick, or if you have a weakened immune system.
So there you have it. Keep showing God’s love to others by your beautiful smile and brushed teeth.