- Bacteria on the bristles
- Rinse thoroughly and disinfect
- Dry the brush in the air
- Replace regularly
- Everybody's the Seine
- And more tips
On toothbrushes bacteria feel particularly well. Some brushes are in terms of germ diversity in a trash can or a toilet in no way. The best strategies against the microbes.
In the oral cavity there is a lot of activity: staphylococci, streptococci, pseudomonas, even intestinal bacteria - researchers have found up to 600 different bacteria in human mouths. Many of them first reach the mouth via the toothbrushes. The small nylon brushes, which are supposed to keep the tongue and teeth clean, are in fact perfect breeding grounds for germs: constantly moist and interspersed with tiny particles of food particles and the oral mucosa. This is the ideal food for bacteria.
Bacteria on the bristles
Intestinal bacteria can not only reach the brush via the hands. Flung from the toilet flush into tiny drops, they can also find their way onto the bristles. This is indicated by a team led by dentist Prof. Maria Geisinger at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Of course it is also less adventurous - tooth cups, cosmetic trays or towels are bacteria nests, with which toothbrushes come into contact with very often. This is not just a disgusting idea - it can also risk your health. Bacteria damage especially the teeth and the gums. It becomes critical when the immune system is weakened or the tiny pathogens find their way into the bloodstream through wounds in the mouth. Chronic mouth inflammations such as periodontitis even increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
To refrain from brushing your teeth is of course no alternative. Accordingly, the German Society of Dental Mouth and Dentistry (DGZMK) recommends the regular and careful cleaning of the teeth with the brush.
Important for personal oral hygiene and the effective removal of bacterial plaque is not only the cleaning, but also the care and storage of toothbrushes, says Geisinger. He who follows the following advice makes life difficult for the bacteria.
Rinse thoroughly and disinfect
Rinse your toothbrush regularly under running water. Especially after brushing, it is important that toothpaste and food remains are washed out of the bristles, leaving no food for bacteria.
In addition, you can immerse your toothbrush in antibacterial mouthwash and thus kill at least some germs. The dentist also recommends rinsing your mouth with mouthwash every time you brush your teeth.
Dry the brush in the air
Bacteria like moist breeding grounds. Keep the toothbrush open in the open air - preferably standing upright. That's the best way to dry it.
Before the next use, the toothbrush should preferably be completely dried. This works best if you use two to three toothbrushes alternately.
At least every two to four months, it is time to part with his toothbrush and get a new one. If the brushes are previously frayed or worn, you should treat yourself to a new one before. After colds or cold sores, a new cleaning utensil is also recommended.
Everybody's the Seine
It is best to keep your toothbrush separate from others - then no germs can jump over. Especially if one of two teeth users is sick, the toothbrushes should not come into contact. As nice as the thought of sharing is - your toothbrush should be kept to yourself. Otherwise heat the bacteria party even more.
And more tips
In addition to the tips on toothbrush care, you can also take further advice:
First, do not feed your oral bacteria with sugar! Because otherwise they produce acid that harms the teeth in the long run. The DGZMK advises a balanced diet and as few sugary snacks as possible.
Second, make sure your toothpaste contains fluoride. Fluorides harden the surface of the tooth and protect it against acid attack. In addition, fluorides inhibit the growth of bacteria.
Third and last but not least: Go to the dentist regularly and treat yourself to a professional tooth cleaning. It also attacks bacteria in the gum pockets.