Are you considering throwing your child’s toothbrush into the waste bin after a strep throat? Or you’re worried that using the same toothbrush after treating streptococcus might expose you or your kids to further health dangers?
Not to worry, bud! Tossing away the toothbrush is absolutely unnecessary. All you need to do is disinfect the toothbrush of strep. You don’t know how? That’s exactly why you’re here. In this piece, you’ll learn;
- how to easily disinfect your toothbrush after strep;
- why you need to disinfect your toothbrush;
- how to disinfect your toothbrush after coronavirus;
- how to brush your teeth like a professional, and so on!
Why Disinfect your Toothbrush?
The mouth is perhaps the easiest passage for germs and bacteria to get into our bodies if proper care is not taken. This is why oral hygiene is key to our health. When we eat, food particles get stuck in the teeth ridges and other hidden parts of the mouth. Within hours, these particles and food crumbs decay into germs and bacteria that are dangerous to our health. Everyday, as you brush, these bacteria can be removed, but not all! Some of them settle deep into the toothbrush, and can be reintroduced into the mouth the next time you use your toothbrush. These bacteria result in several health challenges including strep throat.
Now you see why you need to disinfect your toothbrush both before and after a strep throat? However, after treating strep throat, using the same toothbrush without disinfecting it could pose more clinical problems. In fact, Dental Associations worldwide have cautioned that it is necessary to disinfect your toothbrush if you or any other member of the family has had fungal, bacterial, or viral infections such as thrush and strep throat. Hence, you need to disinfect your toothbrush at least once a week.
General Toothbrush Problems
Like it or not, your toothbrush contains bacteria! Whether you have an oral disease or not is not the matter here. Moreover, failure to cleanse and disinfect your toothbrush after a strep throat or any other oral disease could bring more health challenges. This is because your toothbrush can harbor bacteria from your mouth and the environment. If not cleaned and disinfected, these bacteria can result in various complications such as oral viruses, strep, infections, etc. They include E. Coli, Mutans Streptococcus, Herpes Simplex, and many others.
How to Disinfect your Toothbrush after Strep
The virus which causes strep throat grows fast within 48 hours and dies hard especially when it has settled in your brush head. It could pose some oral complications including sore throat, but it can be treated. However, disinfecting your toothbrush after a strep throat is easy. You can try out the following trusted methods:
- Immerse in hot water
This is the oldest method of treating your toothbrush of germs and dangerous bacteria because very few germs can survive hot water. Boil a cup of water for some 5 to 7 minutes. Immerse your toothbrush in it, paying more attention to the head. Leave in water for about 3 minutes. After retracting from hot water, ensure to rinse thoroughly with tap water.
- Treat with Hydrogen Peroxide
Now, this is a less demanding way to disinfect your toothbrush. All you have to do is store your toothbrush everyday in a bowl of hydrogen peroxide, and rinse it before each use. It is important to rinse thoroughly. You don’t want the smell of hydrogen peroxide oozing out of your mouth when you talk to a colleague at work.
- Use the dishwasher
Disinfecting your toothbrush can be simplified with the use of a dishwasher. Simply toss your brush into the dishwasher and run the device on the hottest cycle for a couple of minutes. You do not need a soap for this.
- Get a UV Sanitizer
Although it is a little costly, the UV sanitizer might just be the best thing that has happened to cleansing since the traditional method of boiling water. For proper sanitation, leave your brush in this gadget for some minutes. The steam in it is the end of the road for whatever bacteria and germs lurking in your bristles.
- Try a Denture Cleaner
If you can’t afford a UV sanitizer, there’s a much cheaper option that is equally effective – the denture cleaner! Simply walk to a mall down the street and get one for yourself. This little cleaner is specifically made to fight bacteria and break down food particles hiding in your bristles before washing them out.
- Trust your common mouthwash
An equally cheap method of cleansing and disinfecting your toothbrush after a strep throat is to use the common mouthwash. Leave the brush in the mouthwash for a period of 12 to 20 minutes at least once a week, and rinse thoroughly.
With each of these methods, you can never get it wrong with disinfecting your toothbrush of strep and every other oral disease.
How to Clean your Teeth Like a Professional
Brushing your teeth about two to three times each day might sound like a chore really. But it is important to take proper note of the process. Most persons get carried away while brushing because they are probably thinking of their appointments for the day. People also brush their teeth in haste so as to catch up with the bus. As a result, they end up doing a haphazard brushing and rush out of the house! No judgment if you’ve not been doing it well. Oral hygiene is an essential part of your health, so you need to pay enough attention to it. You can start cleaning your teeth like a professional dentist with these simple clinical steps:
- Select your toothbrush and toothpaste
For children and adults, a toothbrush with soft bristles is the best recommendation any day. Whether it is a manual toothbrush or an electric toothbrush, ensure it is soft enough, and that the bristles are not too long for your gum. Sensodyne and Oral-B toothbrushes are my best recommendations any time any day.
For toothpaste, ensure that your choice contains fluoride. Most brands have fluoride, so selecting your toothpaste shouldn’t be much of a task. However, if you have any allergies, ensure to check the other components of your selected paste before using it.
- Divide your teeth into quadrants
Dentists always recommend that you spend about 2 minutes each time you brush your teeth, and also to brush at least two times. But it is common to get carried away while brushing and end up focusing on just one part of the mouth all the while without knowing it. This is why you need to divide your teeth into four quadrants: the upper left side, the upper right side, the lower left side, and the lower left side. Spend about 30 seconds on each quadrant, and you would have done justice to the entire teeth!
- Use the 45° angle rule
Now that you know how to focus on the teeth one quadrant at a time, let’s get started proper. Place your brush at about 45° to the top of your gum line. While you do this, be careful not to move your teeth back and forth because it causes wear on the teeth.
- Do not leave out any part
And this includes the inner side of the teeth and the tongue. The flip side of the teeth requires as much attention as the exterior part. After brushing the outside of the teeth, remember to turn the brush the other way and carefully insert it into the inner side of the teeth. Be careful not to bruise your gum or tongue. As a rule, remember to brush your tongue gently for greases.
- Do not rinse!
This sounds contrary to common practice, but rinsing your teeth with water or even a mouthwash just after brushing washes off the fluoride you just brushed into it. If you must, rinse gently with warm water.
There you have it! Clean your teeth like a pro, and stay healthy.
How do you disinfect your electric toothbrush?
Disinfecting your electric toothbrush is very similar to disinfecting a manual toothbrush. In fact, some of the methods discussed above can equally be useful here. Only that, this time, ensure to detach the head of your electric toothbrush before soaking or immersing in hot water. Once you’ve decoupled the device, try out the following methods:
- Soak the electric toothbrush in a mouthwash
Soaking the head of your electric toothbrush in mouthwash is very much effective. Once in a week, leave the bristle in a mouthwash of your choice for a couple of hours. Remember to rinse thoroughly after soaking.
- Try out a bleach solution
A bleach solution has also been tested and approved as another effective way of disinfecting an electric toothbrush. Every three to four weeks, leave the head of the brush in a solution of bleach and water for about an hour. Be careful to not to use excessive bleach and do rinse thoroughly to get rid of the bleach.
- A UV Sanitizer always works!
For your electric toothbrush, using a UV sanitizer also does the magic. Most modern electric toothbrushes come with built-in UV sanitizers, but just in case yours doesn’t, get a UV sanitizer and use it strictly for the brush head from time to time.
Whether you just recovered from COVID-19 or you were in contact with someone who was infected, or you live in a region where the pandemic has a high spread rate, you must take proper care to disinfect your toothbrush regularly. Your toothbrush stands at a high risk since it can harbor saliva, blood, and even bacteria. To stay safe, ensure to practice the following oral hygiene guidelines:
- Never share your toothbrushes
- Disinfect both manual brushes and electric toothbrushes with a UV sanitizer daily.
- For manual brushes, you can also disinfect viruses with hydrogen peroxide every day before brushing.
- Always store in a safe place where it can receive air to dry.
- Sanitize or wash your hands with alcohol-based sanitizers before brushing especially if you just got back from outside.
- When traveling, do not expose your toothbrush
- Do not leave them where others can touch or access them
- Always store in an upright position
- Replace your toothbrush every to three months.
What’s the best electric toothbrush?
If you are looking out for the best electric toothbrush out there, both for adults and children, I like to recommend Oral-B 8000 for maximum satisfaction. This smart e-brush can detect a position to enable you to reach the inner parts of your mouth. It also comes with a Lithium-ion battery that lasts as much as 14 days. The Oral-B e-brush head can rotate at a 360° to enable both adults and children to brush with little effort. With this water-proof e-brush, you can time your brushing period, and never miss out on any part of your mouth!
The Oral-B 8000 gives you a number of cleaning modes ranging from daily clean to pro cleaning to tongue care and teeth whitening. It also has a trusted durability period of two full weeks after a single charge. This electric toothbrush might be a little more expensive than its counterpart of other brands but it definitely compensates with its amazing and easy-to-use features. It serves adults as well as children from age 5 or 6 equally well.
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Strep throat is common among children. It is caused by the bacteria caused streptococcus, and can result in sore throat among other oral health problems. This virus resides in and grows on your toothbrush bristles, and this is exactly why you need to take disinfecting your brush seriously. After a strep throat, there’s certainly no need to throw away your toothbrush. No! Don’t waste that excellent manual toothbrush or replace your e-brush head if the time is not due yet. You could easily learn how to disinfect your toothbrush after strep, and your brush would be safe to use again!