Toothbrushing is the first and most vital step of our oral hygiene regime. Hence it is crucial to take care
of our toothbrushes to maintain their effectiveness to get the most out of them. Our mouth is home to
millions of bacteria that shift onto our toothbrushes. Conversely, the germs from our surroundings can
also get transferred to our mouth via our toothbrushes. Hence proper storage is also essential to avoid
Here are some recommendations for the care, cleaning, and storage of our toothbrushes:
• Do not share your toothbrush with anyone, as this can result in an exchange of germs between people.
• After every use, rinse your toothbrush thoroughly and store it in an upright position to allow it to
dry. Do not put a cap on your toothbrush as that converts a toothbrush into a culture media where
various bacteria can grow. However, if you choose to put a cover on your brush, be sure to let it air dry
• It is not advisable to store multiple toothbrushes in the same container closely as that may cause
cross-contamination. If there are multiple people in your household, keep each toothbrush a couple of
inches apart from the others.
• Try to store your toothbrush as far from the toilet as possible as it may get contaminated with faecal
matter while flushing if kept close to the bathroom.
How often should I replace my toothbrush?
To maintain its effectiveness, you should replace your toothbrush or brush-head of your powered
toothbrush every three to four months. You can replace them more often if the brush’s bristles become
frayed, visibly worn out, or matted. You must check the toothbrushes of your children regularly for any
frays or wears. The toothbrushes of children often need replacing more frequently than adults. In addition,
if you have had a cold, it is vital to change toothbrushes since the bristles can collect germs and cause
How to clean a toothbrush?
You should rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after every use to clean off any debris or remaining toothpaste
on it. There are several methods of disinfecting your toothbrush after use :
• You can rinse your toothbrush with hot water after every use to kill any germs lurking on it.
• You can clean your toothbrush by dipping it in any antibacterial mouth rinses. Many of us are advised
to use chlorhexidine or povidone-iodine mouth rinses by our dentist. You can dip your toothbrush in a
cup of these mouth rinses for 2-3 minutes and rinse it off later.
• If you are a denture wearer and have Denture cleanser tablets, it can be an excellent alternative to
mouthwashes. Dissolve one denture cleanser tablet in a cup of water and dip your toothbrush in it for
a few minutes before rinsing it off with plain water.
If you have any doubts about toothbrushing or taking care of your brushes, it is best to discuss them with
your dentist, who can provide you with the best guidance.
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