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When you took your toothbrush out of its package, chances are that you did not find an owner/operator manual inside. That’s because your toothbrush is not a very complicated piece of equipment. There are no toothbrush repair shops, and no one has ever needed to give their toothbrush a tune up. Although your toothbrush is not cutting-edge technology, it still needs a little TLC to keep it in good working order.

First, check the bristles. If they are worn or flattened, it is time to throw the toothbrush away and get a new one. And, if you have had a toothbrush for more than three months, it’s time to retire it. When shopping for your new toothbrush, make sure that it has soft bristles and that the head is small enough to reach all of the teeth in your mouth.

Your toothbrush will need to be cleaned each time you use it; but it doesn’t need to be sterilized. To clean your toothbrush, simply run it under the tap until the bristles are free of debris and toothpaste. Trying to sterilize your toothbrush in your microwave or dishwasher, or by putting it in boiling water or under an ultraviolet light will only damage the bristles.

You should store your toothbrush upright, and in the open air where it can dry. A damp toothbrush placed in a drawer, cabinet or case is a great place for bacteria and mold to breed. Make sure that you keep the different toothbrushes in your house away from one another to prevent cross-contamination of bacteria between them.

If you are interested in more oral hygiene tips, or if it is just time for your regular cleaning and exam, why not take some time for a visit with our dentists, Dr. Jim Sobolewski or Dr. Oliver Keefer at Szmanda Dental Marathon? If you live in the Marathon, Wisconsin, area you can call 715-443-2247 for an appointment.