Can Germs Live on my Toothbrush?

Chances are you would be disgusted at the thought of leaving your eating utensils on your bathroom counter exposed to germs, and never washing them but continuing to eat with them. This is essentially what you’re doing if you leave your toothbrush sitting out, and never sanitize or change it. Let’s talk about how to keep your toothbrush from being a germ-infested threat to your health.

Your toothbrush can be contaminated by bacteria, saliva, blood, and food particles with each use. Even after you rinse it with water, your toothbrush may appear clean but germs linger on the bristles. Some of the sources of bacteria on your toothbrush include:

  • Your mouth, which transfers germs to your toothbrush during use.
  • The environment, because bathrooms are often the most contaminated room in your house.
  • The packaging, since toothbrushes aren’t sold in sterile packages they can arrive with germs already on them.

Here are some tips to guard your toothbrush from germs:

  • Before and after you brush your teeth, wash your hands to get rid of germs.
  • Rinse your toothbrush well with water, and then allow it to air dry.
  • Store the toothbrush upright so that water can drain from it while drying.
  • Consider storing your toothbrush in a dry area outside of the bathroom, away from humidity and toilet spray
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or more often if you notice worn bristles.
  • Do not share your toothbrush with anyone.
  • Do not soak your toothbrush in disinfectant or mouthwash, which can lead to cross contamination
  • Do not bother microwaving your toothbrush or running it in the dishwasher, because these tactics may damage your brush.


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Tips to Keep Teeth and Gums in Good Shape

Having a gorgeous, healthy smile takes effort. Most people know that daily brushing and flossing are important parts of home care. You can also follow this sage advice to reap the benefits of a vibrant smile and optimal dental health.

Limit dark foods
What you put in your mouth can show up on your teeth. Red wine, black tea, cola, and cigarette use can produce stains on teeth. To prevent discoloration, brush immediately after you ingest these foods and beverages. If you want to renew you smile, ask your dentist about teeth whitening options.

Time your brushing
Research has found that brushing for at least two minutes removes the most bacteria and plaque from your mouth. Keep a timer in your bathroom, or find a song that lasts two minutes and hum it from beginning to end.

Switch toothbrushes
Every two to three months, you need to buy a new toothbrush or replace the head on your electric brush to prevent the development of bacteria.

Have a cup of tea
Because tea contains Flavonoids and other good ingredients that keep bacteria from sticking to teeth, you can maintain good oral health by drinking a cup each day.

Don’t forget your tongue
Often, people struggle with bad breath because they don’t realize that plaque and bacteria build up on the tongue. Gently clean the surface with a tongue scraper or your toothbrush.

Prevent tooth damage
Hard substances like ice and certain candies can create small fractures in teeth that may eventually turn into bigger cracks. Avoid injury to your teeth by sucking on these items instead of crunching them between your teeth.


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iPhone Apps that Promote Oral Health

As each new version of the iPhone is released, you can find apps for just about anything. The various apps range from fun to helpful to bizarre. Health-related apps are continuing to grow in popularity. A number of apps exist that relate specifically to dental health. As with other apps, the cost varies for dental health apps.

Check out these cool iPhone apps:

This app serves as a toothbrush timer and lets you know when to begin brushing a different area of your mouth.

Brush It Up
Designed to teach kids skills for effectively brush teeth, this game app increases in difficulty over time.

CavityFree 3-D
Using 3-D tutorials, the CavityFree 3-D app teaches patients the correct techniques for brushing and flossing teeth. People with braces may find this app particularly helpful.

A good source of information, this app offers the latest podcasts about dental health and current treatments, including topics like implants, bleaching, braces, and gum disease

iPhone Nutrition
With this app, you can enter a certain food and receive all the nutritional information you need, which helps you to maintain a healthy diet.

Tooth Brushing Motivator
Created by MOTIVETRIX, this app guides and encourages tooth brushing. It has a motivating function for children, but it may also interest adults.

Overcome Fear of the Dentist
The brain child of Darren Marks, a leading hypnotherapist in the UK, this app helps you to start reprogramming your mind and overcoming dental anxiety.

Although these phone apps can give you instant data and offer you encouragement, nothing can substitute for good hygiene habits. Make sure your brush at least twice a day for two minutes, floss often, and make routine care appointments with your dentist to protect your oral health.


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What’s to Blame for Bleeding Gums?

Your entire health can be affected if your gums are irritated, swollen, or bleeding. It’s uncomfortable and can lead to other problems. Sometimes these symptoms are sign of gum disease, but there are other issues that also can cause gum problems. Let’s see what other issues may be to blame for your bleeding gums, and how you can minimize the damage.

Improper Brushing
If you brush your teeth too vigorously, you can damage your sensitive gum tissue. Select a soft-bristled toothbrush and use gentle, circular motions when you brush. Do not move the brush back and forth in a sawing motion, because that can irritate your gums and cause them to bleed.

Improper flossing
Floss every day to remove plaque from areas that your toothbrush can’t reach. Making this a daily habit will get your gums used to it and less likely to become irritated. Floss carefully along the curve of each tooth, sliding the floss gently up and down.
Canker sores
Mouth ulcers, or canker sores, often cause gum irritation. These sores can appear anywhere in your mouth, including on your gums, and become very painful.

Swollen, painful, bleeding gums can be a side effect of chemotherapy. Ask your oncologist about suggestions for ways to alleviate this problem. Unfortunately, sometimes this unpleasant side effect doesn’t disappear until after chemotherapy is complete.

Tobacco use
Using cigarettes or other tobacco products can harm your gums and increase your risk for gum disease.

Fluctuations in your hormones can cause your gums to become more sensitive and bleed easily. See your physician for advice on leveling your hormones, which will help will side effects like bleeding gums.

Gum disease
Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease, while the more advanced stage is called periodontitis. Both of these can cause irritated, bleeding gums because there is too much plaque buildup on the teeth and gums from poor dental hygiene. If caught early, gum disease can be reversed with proper care. Untreated gum disease can lead to severe problems like tooth loss.


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