Wellness + Nutrition

On topic with Dr. Dill: tips for a healthier home

Germs are everywhere. They live in every part of our body and are a natural and often helpful part of our environment. In our homes, millions of germs can be found on everyday items such as toothbrushes, towels and handles — most often in the kitchen and bathroom.

While most germs are harmless, others that enter your mouth can lead to tooth decay, gum disease and other problems. Germs that can cause disease are called pathogens. You may also develop overall health issues as certain pathogens make their way into your bloodstream. So how do you protect yourself?

1. Rinse your toothbrush before and after each use to reduce the amount of germs on it. Don’t let the head of your brush touch other items, like someone else’s toothbrush.


2. Avoid sharing used toothbrushes, straws, utensils and cups. These items gather germs when they touch our mouths. Sharing allows germs to travel from one mouth to another, potentially causing tooth decay.                           

3. Clean and disinfect items you touch frequently, including your toothbrush handle and holder, shower curtains, switches, faucets, doorknobs, phones and keyboards. Germs from these items can make their way into your body when you touch your face.



4. Clean your mouth guard, clear aligner, retainer or dentures daily to remove food and bacteria. This will help prevent oral health problems, including gum disease, infection, mouth sores and bad breath. Also, store them in a protective case.

5. Don’t clean a baby's pacifier with your mouth, which could spread germs to the child. It’s better to rinse the pacifier with water instead.




6. Wash used towels at least once a week, and make sure they dry between uses. Towels used after brushing your teeth and washing your face are a great hiding spot for all kinds of germs.




By practicing good hygiene at home, you’ll keep bad germs at bay and better protect your family’s health.

Meet Delta Dental’s Vice President of Dental Science and Network Strategy, Joseph Dill, DDS. With more than 30 years of experience in the dental field, including eight in private practice and 16 in dental insurance, Dr. Dill provides expert insights and helpful advice to keep you smiling bright.