Most people know that nutrition and exercise have a central role in a healthy lifestyle. But a healthy mouth is also an important part of a healthy body. It’s important to brush and floss regularly to keep teeth and gums in good shape. Experts also recommend that everyone take good care of their toothbrush too.

Here are some spring cleaning recommendations:

Don’t share. Sharing a toothbrush is a no-no because that’s how germs get passed back and forth. This is of particular concern for anyone with a compromised immune system or an existing illness such as a cold.

Clean your toothbrush properly every time.  After brushing, thoroughly rinse your toothbrush with water to remove any remaining toothpaste and debris. Store the brush in an upright position so it can air-dry. If your family has a group toothbrush holder by the sink, be sure to keep everyone’s brush separated to prevent cross-contamination.

Air –dry for sure. Do not routinely cover toothbrushes or store them in closed containers. A closed container creates a moist environment, which is more conducive to the growth of bacteria.

Replace your toothbrush regularly. After about three to four months, bristles become frayed and worn with use, and their effectiveness to clean decreases. Check your brush for wear and replace it more frequently if needed. Children’s toothbrushes often need replacing more frequently than adult brushes.