Where Should I Keep My Toothbrush?

ToothbrushYour toothbrush is your best weapon against tooth decay and gingivitis, so it only makes sense that you’d want to keep it clean at all times. Doing so can go a long way in helping keep germs and contaminants away from your toothbrush, and eventually, your mouth.

Ensure Enough Airflow

A simple toothbrush holder should be enough to keep a toothbrush safe and clean. However, make sure that you use a toothbrush holder that allows the brushes enough open air to dry well. A closed container will only make your brushes take more time to dry, encouraging bacterial growth as they tend to grow faster in damp conditions.

For an even better solution, you can use a medicine cabinet. This way, you can close the cabinet and ensure that there’s enough airflow for the toothbrushes to dry quickly. Though, be sure keep the amount of bacteria and microbes inside at a minimum by cleaning the cabinet frequently.

Keep It Away from The Toilet and Sink

The toilet and sink are two of the worst places where you can put your toothbrush in. Even a few feet away from either of the two is just a way to invite germs to your toothbrush. The former is a bad idea because the toilet can create an aerosol effect where the particles of germs travel through the air after each flush, and those germs could travel to your toothbrush. The latter is also not a good idea as soap and dirty water from hand washing may splash onto the toothbrush.

Again, a medicine cabinet comes to mind as a safe and clean place to store your toothbrush. Or, if you’re short on space, consider using a wall-mounted toothbrush holder that’s placed a few feet above the sink to prevent splashing, and a meter or so away from the toilet.

Do Not Share

Never ever share a toothbrush with anyone you know, no matter how close you are. For families, it’s important that each member has their own toothbrush, each with its own unique style and color. This is to prevent the accidental swapping of the toothbrush and passing of bacteria.

Also, make sure that your toothbrush does not touch others while inside the container to prevent the spread of bacteria from the other brush to yours.

Keep The Storage Containers Clean

Wherever you choose to place your toothbrush, what’s important is that you keep it clean at all times. Doing so can help prevent the build-up of dust, germs, bacteria and all other contaminants that may transfer over to your toothbrush.

Depending on the container you choose, you can simply wipe them down every day or every other day, or you can throw them into the washer to have them washed.

In addition to keeping your toothbrush and its storage container clean, be sure to change your toothbrush or toothbrush head every 3-4 months to ensure it is doing a proper job. Also, be sure to always follow a daily oral hygiene routine that should include brushing twice a day, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash.

You shouldn’t forget to visit the dentist every six months as well, for oral exams and professional cleanings. Contact Ted Haines, DDS today for an appointment at 360-568-8577 or through the website at www.tedhainesdds.com.

What Is Dry Mouth and How You Can Prevent It

close up smile red lipstickDry mouth, or also known as “cotton mouth”, is a rather common condition where the body is not able to produce enough saliva. This leaves the mouth lacking of moisture and feeling dry. Everyone can have dry mouth every now and then, especially if they are nervous, upset or under constant stress. Dry mouth may also be a side effect of certain medications or drinking too much coffee. Or, it may also be the result of an underlying and possibly undiagnosed medical condition.

When it comes to dry mouth, it’s important to know what caused it. This is because taking care of the underlying cause is the only way to know the best remedy for your particular case of dry mouth. There are, however, things that you can do to relieve yourself of dry mouth temporarily, and even prevent it.

  • Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free hard candies. Either of the two can help stimulate the flow of saliva. Be careful, though, as Xylitol, an ingredient found in sugar-free gum and candies, have been found to cause diarrhea or cramps if one consumes a large enough amount.


  • Don’t drink coffee too much. Try your best to limit your daily caffeine intake. This is because caffeine has been known to make the mouth drier.


  • Use alcohol-free mouthwashes. Mouthwashes containing alcohol as an ingredient can cause the mouth to dry, so try to stay away from those.


  • Stop tobacco use. Whether smoking or chewing, stop all sorts of tobacco use if you want to remedy and prevent dry mouth.


  • Avoid both sugary and acidic foods. Any food that’s full of sugar and acids can increase your risk for tooth decay, as well as dry mouth.


  • Brush regularly and use fluoride toothpaste. While this is more to help take care of your teeth than treating dry mouth, it’s been known that those with healthy teeth and gums rarely, if at all, suffer from dry mouth.


  • Drink water regularly. Most of the time, the recommended eight glasses of water a day is not enough. Try drinking two, three, or even more glasses than the recommended number if you can.


  • Use mouthwash designed for dry mouth. Mouthwashes containing Xylitol are designed for those with dry mouth, and at the same time, offer some degree of protection against tooth decay.


  • Breathe through your nose. Some people breathe through their mouth, which can make leave their mouth feeling dry. If you’re one of those types of people, make an effort to breathe through your nose and see if it helps.


  • Use a room humidifier. Using a room humidifier can help add moisture to the air at night, which can help prevent your mouth from drying up when you wake up.

Most, if not all, of these steps should help improve your condition, if not eliminate it. However, if symptoms persist, consult with Dr. Ted Haines. Dr. Haines offers dry mouth reducing items at his office and can work with you to see which items are a best fit for you. Call today at 360-568-8577. Visit our website at www.tedhainesdds.com.