Know Your Toothbrush: What’s In It and How to Take Care of It

Perhaps one of the most important tools in maintaining good oral health is a clean toothbrush. It is the ideal weapon of choice against millions of cavity-causing bacteria residing inside your mouth, in between your teeth and gums. However, just like any weapon that is actively engaging in warfare, it can only handle so much wear and tear. This is why it is important for individuals to know how to take care of their toothbrush as they need maintenance too.

The deal about toothbrushes is that since they are in contact with your teeth everyday, they can be a host to various bacteria and organisms if they are not cleaned properly after use. Here is a list of bacteria and organisms that a toothbrush can carry:

  • Staphylococci
  • yeasts
  • coliforms
  • pseudomonads
  • gastrointestinal bacteria

As disgusting as it may sound, toothbrushes can even carry fecal germs, which should be a cause for alarm for anyone!

Taking Care of Your Toothbrush

The key terms to maintaining a clean toothbrush that is devoid of harmful microorganisms are storage and care. Again, the mouth is home to around a hundred different types of microorganisms and all of these minuscule living things can relocate to your toothbrush after brushing your teeth.

Since most toothbrushes are stored in bathrooms, there is a high chance of being exposed to organisms from the stomach or intestines. How, you ask? Well, sadly, the answer is fecal to oral. This is why it is extremely important to take care of your toothbrush, even after you have cleaned your teeth.

Bacteria usually travel to a person’s toothbrush through hand-washing or through the microscopic droplets that have been released from that person’s toilet right after he or she flushed. Even if you see nothing, bacteria are already traveling towards your teeth cleaning tool.

How to Clean Them

Start by rinsing toothbrushes with tap water after you brush. The next step would be to soak them in antibacterial mouthrinse.


Some people cover their toothbrush or store it in a sealed container, but this is actually counter-productive as a damp environment can facilitate the growth of these unwanted bacteria. Store them upright to dry and keep them separate from other toothbrushes to prevent cross-contamination.

What to Do When Sick

The toothbrush protocol when a person is sick is that he or she replace the toothbrush after getting sick, so that any chances of getting the infection again is eliminated.


Toothbrushes should only stay for a minimum of three to four months or when they can no longer do their job from wear and tear, whichever comes sooner.

Use Mouth rinse Prior to Brushing

Now this one’s quite a revelation since mouth rinsing is usually done at the very end of the cleaning process, but it does have a valid point. Rinsing at the beginning can lower the amount of bacteria in the mouth and decrease the number of bacterial transfer to the toothbrush.

Wash Those Hands

Many illnesses can be prevented if only people washed their hands more frequently. Hand-washing before and after brushing your teeth can reduce the likelihood of a bacterial transfer.

Visit Your Chandler Dentist

Dental care is always a vital part of every person’s oral health care, so schedule a regular appointment with your Chandler dentist. Dental cleanings are always recommended as it can reduce the bacteria residing in your oral cavity, which in turn can reduce the bacteria on the toothbrush. Visit today and see the dental options available for patients today.