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Spring 2006
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Brush up on toothbrush care

Brushing our teeth reduces the plaque that causes gum disease and tooth decay. It makes sense to extend the care we give our teeth to our main tool, our toothbrush.

Here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Don’t share toothbrushes, which may increase the risk for infections.
  • Thoroughly rinse your toothbrush with tap water after brushing to remove toothpaste and debris; allow it to air-dry; and store it in an upright position.
  • Make sure toothbrushes stored in the same holder don’t touch. Clean the holder often.
  • Avoid routinely covering toothbrushes or storing them in closed containers, which may promote bacterial growth.
  • Disinfecting toothbrushes isn’t necessary.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three or four months—sooner if bristles look worn, or you’ve had a cold, sore throat or flu.