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Do you know what you can do to keep your teeth healthy and strong? You probably know that it’s important to brush and floss every day, but did you know that your toothbrush could actually let bacteria and germs into your mouth if you don’t care for it properly? Luckily, it isn’t too difficult to care for your brush—but there are definitely a few things you’ll need to know.

The first thing you should consider is placing your toothbrush in a dry, open area. Furthermore, please make sure the brush’s bristles aren’t touching anything and that your brush is standing straight up. Doing these things will keep germs and bacteria off your brush, since bacteria tends to grow in moist, damp places.

Similarly, as you’ve probably guessed, you’ll need to rinse your toothbrush after each use. Simply run it under water to remove excess toothpaste, food particles, and other bacteria from your brush’s bristles. Doing so will also help extend the life of your toothbrush.

On a similar note, please remember to keep your toothbrush to yourself. While sharing your brush may seem harmless—and even convenient—it can actually lead to a number of problems. You see, sharing your toothbrush could expose your mouth and body to bacteria, viruses, and even blood borne pathogens.

Finally, even if you do all of these things, you should still replace your brush every four months. Also, please note that if your toothbrush begins to show signs of wear, or if the bristles break off, you should replace it immediately. Unfortunately, if your bristles start to break off, your brush will carry even more bacteria and won’t clean as well.

If you have any questions or concerns about how you should clean your toothbrush, please don’t hesitate to contact Kirkwood Dental at 408-378-8500. Dr. Vinh T. Pham and our team will be happy to help you in any way we can. We look forward to hearing from you.