Don't disinfect your toothbrush in microwave - American dentist

March 16, 2014  15:19

The most common mistakes of oral hygiene: 

1. You keep your toothbrush within 6 feet of a toilet

Because most people store their brushes in the bathroom, it’s easy for them to become infested with fecal matter and other microbes you wouldn’t want in your mouth. If you’re keeping your toothbrush within six feet of a toilet, that’s too close, according to Dr. Gerry Curatola, founder of Rejuvenation Dentistry.

2. You store your brush in a holder

Leaving your brush upright in a toothbrush holder or cup can leave it exposed to airborne microbes or germs. Instead, Curatola recommends investing in a fabric toothbrush shield, which can help wick away saliva and moisture from a brush, while also acting as a barrier against germs.

3. You microwave your toothbrush to disinfect it

Curatola warned that microwaving a plastic toothbrush can put people at risk for exposure to bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical found in many types of plastic that has been linked to a wide variety of ill health effects, including infertility and various types of cancer.

Instead, Curatola recommends simply rinsing a dirty toothbrush with lukewarm water and a small amount of soap, and then covering it with a fabric shield to prevent re-infestation. He also recommends buying a new toothbrush at least four times a year.

4. Avoid toothpaste that contains chemicals like sodium laurel sulfate or triclosan copolymer

“Sodium laurel sulfate, which is an emulsifier, is a detergent and is actually irritating the mouth,” Curatola said.

Furthermore, some experts are becoming concerned that exposure to triclosan, an antibacterial and antifungal agent, could be leading to increases in strains of resistant bacteria.

And remember, good oral health means good overall health, Curatola said.

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