You can use your toothbrush every day to remove the plaque and bacteria from the surface of your teeth and tongue. If you leave your teeth cleaner after cleaning, your toothbrush brings germs and dirt from your skin. Your toothbrush is more likely to be kept in the bathroom as bacteria will linger in the air. There are many ways to cleanse your toothbrush, and some are more effective than others.
Pour hot water on the toothbrush before and after each use
The best way to sterilize your toothbrush is to run hot water over your toothbrush before and after each application. It would kill the bacteria that could have collected on the toothbrush in the hours between brushing. It also eliminates new bacteria that can build up with each use. Clean, hot water is adequate for most people to disinfect toothbrushes between uses.
Gently run hot water over the toothbrush head before applying the toothpaste. The water is expected to be hot enough to generate steam. When you have cleaned your teeth and mouth properly, rinse the brush with more hot water.
Soak the toothbrush in an anti-bacterial mouthwash
If swishing in hot water is not enough to give you peace of mind, you should soak your brush in an anti-bacterial mouthwash.
Bear in mind that doing this will kill your brush faster, as these mouthwashes typically contain harsh additives that allow your toothbrush to break down. This technique entails holding the brush face down in a small cup of mouthwash for about two minutes after each brushing.
Is it necessary to boil the toothbrush?
You don’t need to boil your brush to clean it sufficiently to use it, and the plastic handle of most toothbrushes can begin to dissolve in boiling water. If you do choose to use hot water, heat the water in a tea kettle or in a saucepan on the burner. When it boils, turn off the heat and dip your toothbrush for 30 seconds or so.
In addition to hot water and mouthwash, an oral cleaning agent should be used to scrub the toothbrush. Dental cleaning is made up of antimicrobial materials that target bacteria and plaque growing in your mouth. Do not use the denture cleaner that you have previously used for dentures. Dissolve half of the detergent tablet in a cup of water and dip the toothbrush in it for 90 seconds to better rinse the brush.
Ultraviolet toothbrush disinfectant
You may also invest in an ultraviolet light sterilization product specially formulated for your brush . One study comparing UV light chambers for toothbrushes with saline and chlorhexidine gluconate solution showed that UV rays were the most effective way to clean toothbrushes.
This equipment can be pricey, and you don’t need to get it in place to brush your teeth safely. Follow the manufacturer’s directions on any UV sanitizer you get.
Notice that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not suggest that you need to use a UV chamber to clean your brush .
How to clean an electric toothbrush head
Much of the time, you will sterilize the electrical toothbrush head in the same manner as a normal toothbrush. Before applying something but toothpaste and warm water to your toothbrush, make sure to remove the toothbrush head from the power base.
If your electric toothbrush is of a kind that does not detach from the foundation, just use warm water or a simple mouthwash and store it in a safe, dry spot.
How to keep your toothbrush clean
Once your brush has been sterilized, you can take steps to keep it clean. It’s likely that storing your brush properly is just as important as cleaning it after use.
Store it in a daily hydrogen peroxide solution
A 2011 study found that holding the brush in a small cup of hydrogen peroxide is an inexpensive way to reduce the growth of bacteria. Replace the hydrogen peroxide every day before you put your brush in the cup first.
Avoid storing toothbrushes side by side
Throwing multiple toothbrushes together in a cup can cause bacterial contamination between the bristles. If there are multiple people in your home, keep each brush separate from others.
Keep it away from the toilet as much as possible
When you flush the toilet, the stool rises in the air in what is known as the “toilet tank” effect. This column spreads infectious bacteria on all surfaces of your toilet, including your brush . You will prevent these bacteria from contaminating your brush by placing it in a door-closed medicine cabinet. Or, you should only keep your brush as far away from the bathroom as you can.
Cleaning toothbrush covers and holder
The bacteria in your brush will leach into any brush caps and containers you can use to hold your toothbrush. Make sure you disinfect any brush caps and receptacles every two weeks to keep dangerous bacteria from taking root.
You don’t need to shield your brush , but if you choose, make sure you let the air dry beforehand. Covering a damp brush can allow more bacteria to develop on the bristles.
Use a toothpaste dispenser
When you apply toothpaste to your toothbrush, there is always a chance that the brush and toothpaste tube will come into contact and transfer bacteria. You can use a toothpaste pump dispenser to reduce the risk of cross contamination.
When to replace your toothbrush
Perhaps the only way to make sure you use a clean brush is to replace it. Your brush or brush head should be checked every 3 to 4 months as a general rule. In any of the following cases, you can also dispose of your brush :
The bristles are now wearing out. If the bristles tend to be twisted or bent, the brush may not be able to clean your teeth efficiently.
There’s someone ill in your building. If you or someone in your family has an infectious illness, such as a sore throat or flu, continued use of your toothbrush will spread the infection.
Sharing your toothbrush with others. If someone else uses your brush , there is no way you can completely sterilize it. Mouth plants are unique, and you should never scratch your mouth with bacteria from another person.