Many viruses and illnesses can be spread from person to person. Everyone has different bacteria that could infect others, and every time you touch your mouth, you could be exposing yourself to other people’s bacteria. Dr. Pate can reduce the amount of dangerous bacteria in your mouth to help keep you healthy. How do germs travel from the outside environment to inside your mouth?
With just one kiss, you swap more than 500 types of bacteria. Tooth decay, cold sores, and other mouth hazards can be transferred through kissing. In addition, with cold and flu season among us, remember that coughs and sneezes can push bacteria through the air, which you can inhale. Sharing dishes, cups, toothbrushes, and other items that come in contact with your mouth will also spread bacteria.
The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if you’re sick or the bristles become frayed. So what do you do with the brush when it can no longer clean your teeth? Dr. Pate suggests disinfecting your brush to prevent contaminating other areas, and trying these tips to make your old toothbrushes useful.
Around The House
Toothbrushes are useful cleaning tools because they can get into crevices that your sponge or rag cannot reach. The brush can clean between the bristles of your hairbrush or between the tongs of your forks. In addition, the long handle makes it easy to reach deep down into bottles or glasses. It’s also convenient to scrub grout and grime from the corners of kitchen and bathroom sinks. You’ve probably eaten while watching TV or using the computer, which leaves your buttons dirty and sticky. A clean, dry brush can also help remove dust between keys on your remote control or computer keyboard.
Though it sounds like a medieval torture tool, a tongue scraper is actually an effective oral hygiene aid. Even in ancient India and China, people cleaned their tongues to remove toxic debris. In the 1900s, people used tongue scrapers fashioned from ivory, silver, or tortoise shell.
Today, tongue scrapers are usually made of plastic, and most have a U-shaped head and a handle. However, some new toothbrushes feature a tongue scraper in the form of indentations on the back of the head, opposite the bristles. Floss or toothbrush bristles can also be used as a tongue scraper. (more…)