Getting your oral hygiene is more than just scrubbing at it with a tooth brush and paste. You also need to be sure that you are not making serious mistakes that can jeopardize your health. There are simple things that you should take note of so that you and your family can be safe.
Here is a list of things that you should not be doing:
It seems logical: hard brushes will clean better than softer ones, right? Actually, no. Hard brushes are rarely recommended for so many reasons. They basically succeed in scraping off the surface of your teeth and gums, while neglecting the corners of your teeth.
This is because they are not flexible enough to adapt to the contours your teeth. In short, using a hard brush is just like using a tire brush to clean the body of your car…you scrape of the paint and still leave your corners dirty!
Regardless of how much of in a hurry you are, you should not neglect the following steps after use:
Also, there is no evidence that you should use any antibacterial solution to disinfect your toothbrushes periodically.
After use, you should rinse your toothbrush, shake it dry and place it upright, not on its side. This is for the remaining water to drain away from the bristles. If you keep the toothbrush on its side, then the bristles would be inside a pool of swimming bacteria.
How you keep your toothbrush is also very important. Here are some points that you should note:
Every time you flush your toilet with the lid open or pour water directly into the bowl using a bucket, you disperse germs all over. Some of these germs can land on your exposed toothbrush and you could get sick when you brush with them.
The best thing to do is to store your toothbrush at least 6 feet away from the toilet. You can also cover it just before you flush. Also, you should always flush with the toilet lid shut.
You should change your brush every three months or when the bristles fray…whichever comes first. Even if you use an electronic toothbrush, you should still get replacement heads quarterly. You should also change your brush after you have been ill with a cold or flu.
We know that you’re close to your sibling or best friend. We also know that it may seem very romantic to share a toothbrush with your spouse or partner (whom you are kissing, anyway). However, using someone else’s toothbrush can make you very sick.
The reason is that a tooth brush can contain up to 100 million bacteria, the types of which vary from person to person. While the owner of the brush may be resistant to them, you may not be. You can also infect them in return when they use it again. Some of these infections can be mild, while some can be serious like a flu, and can be deadly for someone whose immunity is compromised.
The best practices in your oral hygiene would be futile if you keep making the mistakes that we have reviewed. If you want any clarifications on your oral hygiene care then you can pay a visit to Nene dental centre in Ikeja.
Dr. Olatunde Asagba is an alumna of the dental school at the prestigious University of Ibadan, Nigeria. She is passionate about public health issues and is actively involved in expanding healthcare access through telemedicine.