Store Your Child’s Toothbrush Safely
Storing a toothbrush may seem simple. Many stores carry a wide array of brush holders in assorted colors and themes. But storing a toothbrush properly involves more than popping it into a case. Here are a few steps to follow when putting your child’s toothbrush away.
1. Rinse the toothbrush—What good is cleaning your child’s mouth with a dirty toothbrush? Rinse the head of the toothbrush to make sure that all the particles cleaned out of your child’s mouth don’t go right back in during the next brushing.
2. Store the toothbrush upright—This allows any water left on the toothbrush after brushing to drip harmlessly away from the brush head.
3. Store the toothbrush in an open space—You might be tempted to put your child’s toothbrush in the medicine cabinet or a closed case. Don’t. Toothbrushes dry faster in the open air. A wet toothbrush is a great environment for bacteria to collect and infect your child’s teeth and gums.
4. Keep the toothbrush away from the toilet or sink—Most children brush their teeth in the bathroom. But not everything in the bathroom belongs in their mouths. When people wash their hands in the sink, soapy water can splash on toothbrushes. And when people flush the toilet, water can launch upwards, too. Make sure your toothbrushes aren’t stored in a splash zone.
5. Keep toothbrushes separated—If toothbrushes are too close, bacteria can hop from one toothbrush to another. Make sure your family keeps their brush heads clean—not just for themselves but for everyone in your home. For the same reason, don’t share toothbrushes. All family members should have their own.
6. Replace the toothbrush regularly—When your child’s toothbrush seems worn or becomes discolored, move it from the bathroom to the trash. A toothbrush or electric brush head that has been used too long will do more harm than good. We give our patients new toothbrushes when they visit us. Consider that an opportunity to get started with a fresh brush.
Having your child brush twice daily goes a long way toward maintaining optimum oral health. Keeping the toothbrush head clean and in good condition enhances those efforts.
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