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Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is important for keeping your teeth and gums healthy. But did you know that your brushing hygiene also depends on how you maintain and store your toothbrush? It is good to get in the habit of washing your toothbrush on a regular basis to maintain its cleanliness. When you wash your toothbrush, you should rinse the brush to remove larger particles and soak the brush in antibacterial mouthwash to kill bacteria. Another way to clean your toothbrush is to run it through the dishwasher. It is also important to wash a new toothbrush before using it, as the packaging is not sterile and bacteria may already exist on the toothbrush. It is especially important to be diligent about cleaning your toothbrush while you are sick and it is highly recommended to use a new toothbrush after the illness is past to reduce exposure to harmful bacteria. When storing your toothbrush, you should keep it in an upright position to allow the brush to dry out quickly so that bacteria and molds don’t form on it. It is also suggested to store your toothbrush in a dry location with a steady airflow, so avoid placing your toothbrush flat or in an airtight cover. You should also keep your toothbrush as far away from the toilet as possible, because airborne particles could settle on your toothbrush. Another bad habit that should be avoided is sharing a toothbrush with another person, even if this person is a husband or wife. Sharing toothbrushes fosters the transfer of bacteria that can be harmful, such as bacteria that can cause tooth decay. While no toothbrush can be completely sterile, it is important to take proper care in order to keep your toothbrush as hygienic as possible. If you would like to learn more about proper brushing and toothbrush storing techniques or have any questions, we invite you to contact our office today.