Toothbrushes are notorious for collecting millions of bacteria. It’s the perfect breeding ground for these little critters, and they thrive and multiply as time goes on. Toothpaste doesn’t kill them, and rinsing the bristles with water doesn’t get rid of the majority of them.

According to the ADA (American Dental Association), bacterial infestations can develop within a month of daily brushing. What’s more, if the toothbrush wasn’t properly sterilized before being packaged and shipped, your toothbrush will likely be home to a colony of bacteria before you ever even open it.

The bacteria make their home deep inside the toothbrush bristles, and once they’re there they don’t move out. Some of them can survive extreme conditions, so freezing your toothbrush or microwaving it for a few seconds won’t get rid of them either (and we don’t recommend microwaving plastic!).

When you’re sick, your mouth often has excess bacteria running amok. When you brush your teeth, your toothbrush will collect these nasty bacteria, so it’s a good idea to use an old toothbrush while you’re sick and throw it away when you start feeling better. Otherwise there’s a chance you’ll reintroduce these germs into your system!

In order to combat these bacteria, your best bet is to toss your toothbrush every three months. If you use a disposable toothbrush, simply toss it and grab another. If you use an electric toothbrush, keep a supply of replacement heads around so you can swap them when the time is right. This also fixes the issues of fraying, which make for a less efficient brushing experience. Children often bit and chew on their toothbrushes, so they made need replacing more frequently.

If you’re looking for an experience and reliable local doctor for yourself and/or your whole family in the San Marcos area, give our office a call to discuss your needs and set up an appointment! We’ll treat you like family and won’t market any products or persuade you into treatments you don’t want. Our goal is to help you maintain your dental hygiene and keep your smile beautiful.