Twice a day, the bristles of your toothbrush are coated in water, food debris, germs, and plaque from your mouth. Because of the coronavirus, it’s now more important than ever that you keep your toothbrush clean and germ-free. You don’t want to get sick from doing something that’s good for your oral health! Keep reading to learn of a few ways you can give your toothbrush a deep clean.
Caring for Your Toothbrush
To ensure that your toothbrush is as clean as possible, it helps to clean it every time you use it. After you’re finished brushing, rinse the bristles in warm water to remove any leftover food particles or germs that may have been present in your mouth.
When the toothbrush is clean, store it in a toothbrush holder. Don’t place a cover over it. Dark, damp places like that are hard to sterilize and can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria. Don’t share toothbrushes, but also don’t share toothbrush holders. Germs can spread from brush to brush if you share a holder with someone else in your household.
Lastly, you should replace your brush with a new one every three months since the bristles deteriorate with age and time. Switch it out sooner if the bristles look frayed or worn. Also, it never hurts to replace your brush if you have been sick recently. You don’t want the germs on your brush re-infecting you and getting you sick all over again.
How to Disinfect Your Toothbrush Bristles
Ideally, you should disinfect your toothbrush once a week. Here are some ideas you could implement to give your toothbrush a thorough cleaning:
- Swirl the bristles around in an antimicrobial mouthwash for about 30 seconds
- Dissolve two teaspoons of baking soda into a cup of water and let the brush soak in that solution
- Dilute a teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide in one cup of water and swish the toothbrush bristles around in the mixture before brushing
- Let the bristles soak in vinegar overnight
- Dissolve a denture-cleaning tablet in a glass of water (according to the instructions on the label) and soak the brush in that solution
It’s highly recommended that you do NOT let a toothbrush soak in mouthwash for more than 15 minutes at a time. Additionally, don’t reuse any of the mouthwash used to clean your brush to rinse out your mouth. It’s also not advisable to run your toothbrush through the microwave or dishwasher, as the heat could damage the plastic.
Now more than ever, personal hygiene is important, especially when it comes to your oral health. Stick to these tips for sanitizing your toothbrush and your mouth should remain healthy and clean.
About the Author
Dr. Kelly Blair is a dentist in Fort Worth, TX who graduated from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Sant Antonio with her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 2005. She holds active memberships in the American Dental Association, the Texas Dental Association, and the Fort Worth Dental Society. Although her practice is currently closed, her team is still treating dental emergencies. If you think you have one, such as a severe toothache or broken tooth, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Blair’s office at (817) 737-5155.