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Your toothbrush is probably your best tool for fighting tooth decay and keeping your mouth happy and healthy. For your toothbrush to do it’s job well, it needs to be in great condition. While you depend on your toothbrush, your toothbrush also depends on you.

First, you need to make sure that your toothbrush is in good shape. In this case, it means that the bristles are not damaged. They should be standing upright. If the bristles are worn or flattened, or if it is older than three months, you need to replace it. Make sure that your new toothbrush has soft bristles and has a head that small enough to reach all of your teeth.

Cleaning your toothbrush is easy. Just run the bristles under the tap until they are free of food debris and toothpaste. You do not need to boil your toothbrush, put it in the microwave or run it through the dishwasher. Doing those things will not sterilize your toothbrush, but will damage ther bristles. If you choose to soak your toothbrush in mouthwash, do so for no longer than 15 minutes, and dispose of the mouthwash when you are done.

Store your toothbrush upright and in a place where the air can reach it. Covering your toothbrush or placing it in a drawer may help mold or bacteria to grow on the bristles. Store the toothbrushes in your household away from one another to prevent the cross-contamination fo bacteria from one person’s mouth to another.

For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy and happy, or if you would just like to make an appointment for your regualr cleaning and exam, you can call 208-966-6054 to make an appointment at Kootenai Family Dental in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Dr. Alexis LaRose and our staff will be happy to help you find the smile of your dreams!