Even though electric toothbrushes are more expensive than regular ones, many people are using it to keep their gums and teeth healthy. Those who have used an electric toothbrush feel that it is more effective as compared to manual toothbrushes. Some feel its effect is as good as professional teeth cleaning conducted by dentists. It is highly beneficial for elderly people or those who are suffering from arthritis or muscle problems and cannot move a manual brush to reach out to the rear teeth.
Cleaning an Electric Toothbrush
Regular washing of an electric toothbrush is a must from a hygienic point of view. Soon after brushing your teeth, hold the toothbrush, turned on under running warm water for about 10 seconds. While cleaning the head of the brush, press and rub the bristles with your thumb. This is done to get rid of the toothpaste residues left behind in between the bristles. Avoid using cold water as it cannot remove the toothpaste stuck on the bristles properly. Before you clean up the handle of the brush, turn off the brush and detach its head from the handle. Now, put the handle under running warm water of the faucet to rinse off the toothpaste from its surface. After that, wipe off the handle with a clean piece of cloth. Then assemble the toothbrush and let it air dry by placing it into the cup in upright position. This way you can maintain the toothbrush in a good, usable condition for a long time. Usually, an electric toothbrush can be used for 3-6 months, which depends on the manufacturer's recommendations. You may have to replace it before that if you find that the cleaning head of the toothbrush has worn down.
Sanitizing an Electric Toothbrush
A deep cleaning of the electric toothbrush is recommended at least once every month in order to disinfect the bristles. Besides, you should also opt for cleaning the toothbrush after you had a bout of cold as it is carrier of germs that flourish inside the mouth when you have a cold.
This cleaning procedure involves use of bleach and water. Prepare a solution by mixing one cap of bleach in a glass of water. Make sure that the concentration of the bleach in the solution is not too high, as it can cause damage to the bristles. You must detach the head of the brush from its body before dipping it into the cleaning solution. Soak the brush head into the prepared bleaching solution for half an hour to destroy the germs flourishing on it. After that, take the toothbrush out of the cleaning solution and place it under running tap water to rinse off the bleach from it. While doing so, rub your fingers over the bristles to ensure that no trace of bleaching solution remains in them. Once you are sure that the bleach has been washed off completely, place the wet toothbrush on a dry towel so that the excess water is soaked up. This will ensure faster drying up of the brush head. Similarly, you can use hydrogen peroxide solution to sanitize an electric toothbrush.
The body or the handle of the toothbrush also requires thorough cleaning from time to time. However, do not dip the body of the toothbrush into bleaching solution as it can cause damage to its circuit. Take a pinch of detergent on a damp washcloth and wipe the dirty areas of the handle with it. To clean up the dirt and debris accumulated inside the crevices of the toothbrush body, rub a regular toothbrush over these areas. Finally, rinse off with fresh tap water. Let it dry up before you place it back on the charger.
After cleaning, the brush has to be stored properly. Never store an electric toothbrush in a closed cabinet as it promotes growth of bacteria on the bristles. Another thing that has to be taken care of is that it is not kept along with too many brushes in the same cup or brush holder because it increases the chance of spreading germs from one brush to another. It should be kept in a clean place in the bathroom so that airborne germs from the untidy bathroom do not use your toothbrush as their breeding ground.