How to clean your toothbrush?

Written by Dr Amrita Jain

Medically reviewed by  Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali Kabade BDS, TCC

Last updated May 4, 2024

Written by Dr Amrita Jain

Medically reviewed by  Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali Kabade BDS, TCC

Last updated May 4, 2024

Brushing your teeth is the foundation of a good oral hygiene routine. However, brushing with a toothbrush that is not clean, is a waste of your efforts and time. Here are some ways to clean your toothbrush and avoid oral infections.

Wash, wash, and wash some more

Before you touch your brush, wash your hands. This will make sure that you do not transfer germs from your hands to your brush and mouth.

After you finish brushing make sure to thoroughly wash your brush, preferably with warm water. Brush bristles trap bacteria which can cause oral problems. This simple habit of washing your hands and brush will go a long way in giving you a healthy mouth and body.

Using a mouthwash to clean your toothbrush

This is the easiest and cheapest way to clean your toothbrush. All you have to do is soak your toothbrush in bacteria-killing mouthwash for 3-5 minutes. You can use alcohol-containing mouthwash like Listerine or even a chlorhexidine mouthwash like Hexidine. Make sure you rinse your toothbrush again with plain water before parking it in your toothbrush holder.

You might have also noticed toothpaste debris that get accumulated between or at the base your bristles. Cleaning this could get really difficult. Soaking your toothbrush in a mouthwash from the very start will prevent this. You could also use a toothbrush sanitizers available in the market to clean your toothbrushes.

Store it right

After brushing store your brush in an upright position and allow it to dry completely. Brushes left on a damp sink will attract a lot of bacteria, cockroaches and pests.

Do not cap or stash away your brushes immediately after use. Let them air dry completely, as wet bristles of the toothbrush are a breeding ground for bacteria or they may even attract mold.

Store your toothbrush separately

Do not store your brush together with the rest of the family. Storing all the brushes separately from each other will ensure transfer of bacteria is avoided. This habit will ensure that no disease spreads from one person to another through toothbrushes.

Do not share your toothbrush with anyone. Our oral cavities carry not just our saliva but food particles, hormones and even blood. Brushes trap all of this and transfer it to people using your brush.

Replace them regularly

Change your brush every 3-4 months to ensure maximum cleaning efficiency. Frayed, bent bristles will do more harm than good.

Change your brush after every illness. Bacteria that remain trapped in your brush may cause you to fall ill again, so discard your brush.

This habit of replacing your brush regularly will make sure that your brush is always clean and effective.

Disinfect your brushes

Use 3% hydrogen peroxide to soak your brushes for 20 minutes to disinfect them. Again make sure you rinse your toothbrush with plain water after disinfecting.

Remember to soak each brush separately and to change the disinfecting liquid after every brush. You can even invest in an UV ray toothbrush sterilizer, especially if you have immunocompromised people at home.

Disinfection of brushes is not absolutely necessary but can be effective if done correctly. Follow the steps mentioned above  to  ‘brush’ away your worries about a clean and hygienic brush.

Remember a healthy toothbrush makes way for a healthy oral cavity.

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Author Bio: Dr. Amrita Jain is a practicing dental surgeon since 4 years. She completed her B.D.S in 2016 and was has been a rank holder throughout her course. She suggests “Holistic dentistry is the best dentistry”. Her treatment line follows a conservative pattern which means saving a tooth is of utmost priority and preventing your teeth from getting decayed rather than curing it with a root canal treatment. She inculcates the same while consulting her patients. Apart from her interest in clinical practice, she has developed interest in research and writing over a period of time. She states “It is my clinical experience that motivates me to write and spread dental awareness”. Her articles are well researched with a combination of technical knowledge and clinical experience.

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