The ABCs of Keeping Your Toothbrush Clean (and Safe to Use)
You clean your teeth, but do you clean your toothbrush bristles?

Did you know? The average toothbrush can be host to over 10 million bacteria – and this includes nasty offenders like E. coli and Staphylococcus. Ew, right?

But thankfully, there are steps you can take to ensure your toothbrush stays clean and safe to use.

THE ABCs OF TOOTHBRUSH TLC from our downtown Toronto dentists

First thing’s first: your toothbrush should be replaced every 3 months, or when the bristles start to fray or show wear. Once you get that down, here’s how you can keep your toothbrush clean in between replacements:

A) Flush with the lid down.

Did you know that every time you flush without closing the lid, “toilet plume” (toilet water infested with bacteria and fecal particles) is misted far beyond the toilet? Yeah, pretty gross. That’s why it’s important to always flush the toilet with the lid down to ensure that no bacteria is sprayed onto any of your bathroom items – especially that one special tool that you put in your mouth daily.

B) Give your toothbrush room to breathe.

Storing your toothbrush in a container encourages bacterial growth, as the toothbrush bristles remain moist are not given the chance to dry out between uses. With that said; a good place to store a toothbrush is: a) away from the toilet, b) away from any other toothbrushes, and, c) in an area that exposes it to enough air. The medicine cabinet is one ideal place for a toothbrush.

C) If you drop it… disinfect it.

The bathroom floor is like a petri dish of nasty bacteria. If you accidentally drop your toothbrush on the floor, do not let it enter your mouth again just yet! Disinfect it using an antibacterial mouth rinse or soak in hydrogen peroxide. In addition to cleaning your toothbrush whenever it hits the floor, occasionally disinfect the bristles to keep them clean, even when there’s no immediate reason to.


Well, there you have it… the ABCs of keeping that toothbrush clean as can be! Will you be taking better care of yours moving forward?

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