If you feel unwell all the time, even after eating right and exercising on a regular basis, check your electric water flosser for black mold. Your bathroom is one of the common places for mold growth. It lurks behind your bathroom counters, around your bathtub, and even along the base of your toilet. But one place you might not think to check for mold is your electric water flosser. Although water flossers are effective tools to remove plaque and bacteria from your mouth, the oral care appliances may develop mold in the parts needed to clean your mouth and store water. Here's how mold grows inside your electric water flosser and what you can do to remove it.
How Does Mold Grow in Your Water Flosser?
Mold can grow in places that contain some form of moisture, including your water flosser. Water flossers typically feature several parts that come into direct contact with water, including the hose assembly, water reservoir and tips. The hose assembly and tips allow water to flow through them when you use the flosser. If water remains in the hose after you complete your oral care, it may later attract mold spores. When you use the flosser again, the mold may spread to the tips and stay hidden until the conditions are just right to grow.
In addition, the bathroom is one of the most humid places in the home. When you take a hot shower or bathe, you constantly expose the room to moisture and heat. The moisture turns into water vapor as it evaporates into the air. Once you cool down the bathroom with an air conditioner or ventilation fan, the water vapor condensates, or becomes water again, on every cold surface in the room, including the mirrors and flosser's reservoir. Mold spores floating around the bathroom's air seek out the wet surfaces and hide until it becomes warm and humid enough to grow.
If you inhale or ingest the mold growing in your water flosser's parts, you experience a number of symptoms that include coughing, itchy eyes, nausea, and wheezing. It's also possible to experience itching around the lips and inside the mouth from mold exposure if you inhale it. But since most of the water flosser's parts come into direct contact with your mouth and lips, it's a good idea that you see a dentist for a checkup. Black mold can grow on dental appliances and make you ill if you place them inside the mouth, so it's important to find out if black mold can potentially affect your water flosser in the same way.
Until you see a dentist for care, clean out the water flosser to remove the mold.
How Do You Clean the Water Flosser?
Before you clean the electric flosser, take the appliance to a place with plenty of air circulation and space to work on, such as a dining room table or kitchen table. Be sure to cover the table or work area with a thick, plastic tablecloth or tarp. You want to contain any moldy-water that leaves the flosser.
Now, do these things below:
- Fill a clean and sanitized large bucket with 6 cups of cold and 4 cups of white vinegar. Vinegar is a non-toxic cleaner that kills a substantial amount of black mold species.
- Remove the assembly hose and water reservoir from the flosser's main housing.
- Place the water reservoir, hose assembly, and tips into the bucket of water, then allow them to soak for 45 minutes or until visibly clean.
- Use a small brush to remove any mold that doesn't soak away in the water.
- Remove the items from the water and dry them with clean paper towels.
- Wipe down the inside and outside surfaces of the flosser's main housing with a clean towel.
- Reassemble the flosser, then place it in a cool, dry place until needed.
Clean the flosser every week or two to help prevent mold from growing in the appliance. Be sure to schedule a visit with your local dentist to ensure that the mold didn't cause problems with your oral health.
For more information, contact a dentist like those at Crest Hill Family Dental.