Bellingham Dentist

Disinfecting Advice for Your Toothbrush

A Clean Toothbrush For A Clean Mouth

Do you realize that your toothbrush can harbor all sorts of germs?

The bristles can be a breeding ground for germs. Your bristles are coated in water, toothpaste, food debris and mouth bacteria each time you brush your teeth. Should you have the flu or cold, you would have added the virus into your toothbrush. What should you do? You must disinfect and clean your toothbrush regularly to keep them clean and fresh. After an illness, do the same to your brush, or better, replace it with a new one. This way you can help prevent germs from spreading to the rest of your family.

What does the American Dental Association advice on toothbrush care?

You should clean your toothbrush every time you use it. Microorganisms from our mouths and the environment grow on toothbrushes after we use them. They can cause ill health so toothbrush care means to remove all toothpaste and food debris after you brush your teeth by rinsing the bristles thoroughly in clean water. When the toothbrush is clean, stand it on its handle end and make sure it’s not touching other toothbrushes to allow it to air dry. Don’t cover toothbrush bristles that won’t allow them to dry out, and definitely don’t share toothbrushes. You should also replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or earlier if the bristles are frayed or worn.

After recovering from a respiratory illness, clean and disinfect your toothbrush to help get rid of a cold or flu that you don’t want to catch again or pass around your family. Here’s a range of options for disinfecting toothbrushes that might be contaminated with flu germs:

  • Swirl the bristles in antibacterial mouthwash for 30 seconds.
  • Dissolve 2 teaspoons of baking soda in a cup of water and soak the toothbrush in the solution.
  • Dilute 1 teaspoon of 3 percent strength hydrogen peroxide in 1 cup of water and swish the toothbrush bristles in the solution before brushing.
  • Soak the bristles in vinegar overnight once per week.
  • Dissolve a denture cleansing tablet according to the instructions on the label and soak the toothbrush bristles in the solution.

Remember to not soak your toothbrush in mouthwash longer than 15 minutes. And don’t reuse any mouthwash used for cleaning. Putting your toothbrush in a microwave or dishwasher can destroy the plastic your toothbrush is made of. It can take less than a minute’s worth of effort to leave your toothbrush fresh and clean.