Toothbrushes can harbor nanobugs as well as help remove them
I have an electric toothbrush made by Sonicare that serves me well. Supposedly an electric toothbrush is more effective than manual brushing because it can deliver more strokes of the bristles per minute. This mechanical action loosens food particles and Streptococcus mutans bacteria so they don't eat holes in the enamel of your teeth. Today I happened to notice that there was a build-up of yellow 'crud' at the base of the bristles of my toothbrush. Yuck! Now the brush head was still in good shape so I didn't want to toss it out - replacement heads cost about $20, I think. So I keep some of those denture cleaning tablets on hand for this purpose. They are usually used for cleaning artificial teeth but the box says you can use them for cleaning brushes too. I simply turn the head of the electric toothbrush unit upside down in a glass of water, drop in the fizzy tablet and wait 30 minutes. Then I rinse it well and let the brush head dry before reassempling the brush. This works really well. I should advise you to "check the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning and replacement of brushes". But because of the nature of the intended use of the electric toothbrush - most can safely be put in water for cleaning without damage to you or the unit. This method of cleaning can also be used for manual toothbrushes. I think it is Phillips company that sells a UV lighted storage unit for toothbrushes. However, if there is debris on the brush head or trapped in the bristles, disinfection is not accomplished. I have heard of supposed studies that claim that toothbrushes that are left uncovered on the bathroom counter can be contaminated with aerosols of toilet water created when the toilet is flushed with the lid up. I don't really buy this as a risk to my health. If you store your toothbrushes in the medicine cabinet to prevent this - you might be creating a worst situation. Bacteria and fungi like a warm, dark and moist environment in which to grow - that's exactly what you create when you store a used wet toothbrush in the medicine cabinet.
So here's my advice: check your brushes regularly and more often in the summer. If the bristles are worn - or chewed down as toddlers tend to do - toss it and get a new brush. If not, clean the brush head in the manner described above. Store the brushes on the counter in sunlight and allow to dry between uses. If they are put away you will be less likely to remember to use them - out of sight , out of mind. And brushing and flossing are essential in keeping Streptococcus mutans from taking over your mouth - causing you a lot of cavities and dental bills. (I know this is all pretty gross, but somebody has to talk to you about these things and your dentist or hygenist doesn't usually go into this detail) Brush with a good, clean toothbrush, floss daily and SMILE .............
"Peace begins with a smile" - Mother Teresa
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