Heralded among her loyal patients as the best Naperville dentist, Dr. Chiann Gibson reports that the average toothbrush contains 10 million bacteria and germs. Although this may sound very worrysome, Dr. Gibson helps to alleviate your fears in the following Q&A.
Q: Should the bacteria found on my toothbrushes be a cause for concern?
Dr. Chiann Gibson, Best Naperville Dentist: Not really. While my patients might cringe or make a face whenever they hear the word “bacteria,” the truth is that their toothbrush is probably safe. Toothpaste contains an
anti-germ component that eliminates much of the bacteria. Keep in mind, too, that microbes require moisture in order to survive. As long as your toothbrush completely dries before the next use, all is well.
Q: What’s the best way to store a toothbrush between uses?
Dr. Chiann Gibson, Best Naperville Dentist: First and foremost, store the toothbrush in an upright position. For those who are extremely careful about germs, soak the toothbrush in alcohol after each use. In fact, there are plenty of other options for sanitation including mouthwash, boiling water, or a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water.
Q: Is it necessary to keep one family member’s toothbrush away from another’s?
Dr. Chiann Gibson, Best Naperville Dentist: Most of my patients are perfectly fine with storing their toothbrushes together with the rest of the family’s toothbrushes. Germs do not transfer from one toothbrush to the next. However, if someone in the home is experiencing an illness, it may be wise to separate the toothbrush for a period of time.
Q: How many times a year should I start over with a new toothbrush?
Dr. Chiann Gibson, Best Naperville Dentist: The American Dental Association advises people to replace a toothbrush once every three months. As a convenient way to keep track of this schedule, plan to purchase a new one at the turn of each season.