Ever wonder how clean your toothbrush is? The truth will shock you! Check out the scary truth internationally renowned dentist and clinician, Dr. Curatola, had to share with us:
How clean is the average toothbrush?
The average toothbrush acts as a "lightning rod" for viruses and bacteria, with an estimated 10 million microbes that can be found on your toothbrush. Because of the sheer variety of germs, they can harbor more pathogens than the average toilet seat.
OMG! How do bacteria on our toothbrush pose a risk?
With a toothbrush's ability to be a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, viruses and fungi (mold and mildew), there is a significant risk of harmful germs being introduced into the mouth that can disturb the mouth's natural protective ecology called the oral microbiome and make you sick. You are at even greater risk if the oral microbiome in your mouth is not healthy, weakening your immune system and increasing your chance of getting sick from harmful germs on your toothbrush.
What about toothbrush cases? Do they make the chance for bacteria lower?
The Center for Disease Control has advised against the use of toothbrush cases as they can act like "petri dishes" allowing harmful germs to form on these surfaces. Using a safe and disposable barrier device, such as the Toothbrush Shield designed by Intellident, wicks away moisture and saliva while serving as a 99.9% barrier that shields against viruses, bacteria and fungi.
What kinds of germs collect in a toothbrush if it is left out in the open air?
Your toothbrush is not protected if left out in the open. Bacteria that can cause oral infections, the flu and other infectious diseases can spread from one family member to another through toothbrush contact when you store your brushes unprotected in a holder. The simple act of flushing a toilet can contaminate a six-foot radius which most bathroom sinks are in close proximity to!
Wow. So what is the best way to store your toothbrush for everyday use?
Your toothbrush should be dried slightly, covered, and stored with a disposable protective, breathable barrier such as the Toothbrush Shield. This simple hygienic step can protect you and your loved ones.
Is it true you can you microwave your toothbrush to keep the germs away?
You should never put your toothbrush in the dishwasher or microwave. This has been shown to degrade the nylon toothbrush bristles. Most toothbrushes are made of plastic, silicon and nylon that can degrade from excess heat from a dishwasher and especially a microwave, which can also release harmful compounds such as BPA (Bisphenyl-A) and those that mimic EA (Estrogenic activity).
How often should you change your toothbrush?
I always recommend changing your toothbrush (or brush head, if you use an electric toothbrush) once every season of the year (or every three months) as studies have shown that daily wear makes your toothbrush less efficient and because of the wear on the bristles.
Any additional tips or tricks?
We need to respect the microbial environment inside and outside of our mouths. By using a "breathable" barrier device on your toothbrush and eliminating harmful chemicals and detergent-based oral care products in the mouth, you can best maintain a healthy mouth and beautiful smile.
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