The Monsters in Your Toothbrush
Before Kelvin (not real name) left home this morning, he held his mouth rake (toothbrush) completely scared of using it in his mouth. His worries came from a seminar he attended the previous day on dental health.
In the seminar, the erudite professor of dentistry opened his eyes to the plethora of oral microbial organisms living in his toothbrush which could be sometimes as stubborn as an illiterate goat.
In his confusion, the only Bible verse he can quote off hand flashed at the back of his mind: “And God saw all that He had made and behold it was very good…” Gen. 1:13.
Indeed, God did a marvelous job in His creation of man if not we would be falling sick by the day with all the disease-causing agents that confronts us on seconds basis.
A healthy human body could be likened to a presidential house, e.g. Aso Rock. You will quite agree with me that before you are a breathing distance from The President, you must have passed through the eagle eyes of trained security personnel. So, you should be sure to have your ass kicked really hard if you go there with a foul intention.
God created us so well that before any terrorist (pathogens) comes close to making us sick, the highly trained soldiers in our body called antibodies would fight off these pathogens like crazy but when your immune system is compromised, then you have to be extra cautious because some of these soldiers in your body are not as strong as they once were.
For some of us that have seen Olympus have fallen, you will agree with me that the only reason those dare-devil terrorists penetrated The White House was because the security system of The White House was compromised.
A person’s immunity could be compromised from genetic defects, organ transplant, drug abuse, surgery, wounds, malnutrition, AIDS, cancer, diabetes or other diseases and if your immunity is compromised by any of these then you have to be extra cautious with every details that concerns your health, no matter how trivial.
Illness-causing organisms are ubiquitous which means they are found everywhere: in the air, on our body, in the toilet and in your mouth. In fact, our mouths harbor plenty microbes and they can only be seen with the aid of a microscope.
Because the mouth harbors all these microbes it goes without saying that when we brush our teeth most of them find their way to the toothbrush. Not to mention others that could find their way in from the environment where these toothbrushes are kept.
Now that we know all of these, how can we make a clean sweep of these organisms in our toothbrushes?
The toilet is like a breeding ground for countless microbes which could cause terrible infections. When you flush down the toilet after use, some of these microbes takes flight with the contaminated water vapour and could land on your toothbrush if they are kept anywhere close to the toilet.
Advice– keep your toothbrushes far from the toilet and when you flush down your sludge, do it with the lid down.
Microorganisms thrive in a damp environment and if the holder where you keep your toothbrushes is covered the microbial and viral load of your toothbrush will be tremendous.
Advice– always keep your toothbrushes upright in bathroom cups or holders where air can easily circulate to keep them dry. Don’t brush with a wet toothbrush. If it’s possible get two toothbrushes, one in the morning and another in the night.
When a person recovers from periodontal disease or any form of oral infection and continues to use the same toothbrush after recovery, the likelihood of this person getting re-infected is very high. This is because the pathogens that caused this infection could still be living in the toothbrush.
Advice- change a toothbrush once you recover from any form of oral infection or any disease at all.
Don’t go on using a toothbrush like it’s an heirloom. After a while toothbrushes get weak and the bristles wear out and cannot penetrate the crevices of the teeth properly.
Advice– Dentists all over the world have advised that we should change our toothbrushes at least every 3-4 months. Get a new toothbrush in every 3-4 months or whenever you notice that your toothbrush has worn out.
When you allow somebody else to make use of your toothbrush, all the microbes living in his mouth would find their way to the toothbrush while the microbes which were resting comfortably in the brush find their way into this person’s mouth. So, what you now have is an exchange of microbes. You gave this person yours and took some of his.
Advice– don’t share your toothbrush with anybody no matter how closely related you may be.
How do you take care of your toothbrush? I would love to hear from you.