But have you ever heard about the concept of disinfecting your toothbrush? If your answer is no, then, you have come to the right place as we are going to teach you how to disinfect a toothbrush.
Follow this method to properly clean your toothbrush:
- Swirl the bristles in antibacterial mouthwash for 30 seconds.
- Dissolve 2 teaspoons of baking soda in a cup of water and soak the toothbrush in the solution.
- Dilute 1 teaspoon of 3 percent strength hydrogen peroxide in 1 cup of water and swish the toothbrush bristles in the solution before brushing.
- Soak the bristles in vinegar overnight once per week.
- Dissolve a denture cleansing tablet according to the instructions on the label and soak the toothbrush bristles in the solution.
Don’t soak a toothbrush in mouthwash for longer than 15 minutes, and don’t reuse any mouthwash used for cleaning.
It’s also inadvisable to put a toothbrush in a microwave or dishwasher. Heating the plastic on toothbrushes could damage the brushing edge.
After you have been sick with the flu, you could throw out your toothbrush and buy another one, but that probably isn’t necessary.
If flu germs remain on the toothbrush, you can destroy them by disinfecting the bristles. It can take less than a minute’s worth of effort to leave your toothbrush fresh and clean.
What the American Dental Association recommends
According to the American Dental Association, no commercial products can sterilise a toothbrush and it’s not necessary. The ADA notes, “There is insufficient clinical evidence to support that bacterial growth on toothbrushes will lead to specific adverse oral or systemic health effects.”
Bacteria tends to grow in dark, warm and moist places. Keeping your toothbrush covered or stored in a closed container might lead to problems.
Let your toothbrush air dry in a holder that allows it to stand up without touching the bristles or other toothbrushes. Replacing your toothbrush every three-to-four months is also important. Avoid sharing toothbrushes as well.
Keeping it clean
Most of us simply rinse the toothbrush head once we are done brushing. But a more thorough rinse in warm water ensures that food debris and leftover toothpaste won’t remain in the bristles.
While the ADA notes there is no clinical evidence that soaking a toothbrush in antibacterial mouthwash has a positive effect, it won’t damage your toothbrush.
If you want to sanitise, toothbrush heads should be immersed for about 15 minutes in mouthwash. Any longer could damage the bristles. And don’t share or reuse that mouthwash, it defeats the purpose.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises against using your dishwasher or microwave to disinfect toothbrushes. The CDC even includes ultraviolet devices on the list of things that may damage the toothbrush.
If someone in your family is sick or is at a higher risk of infection, taking some preventive steps may help guard against a problem.
Replacing toothbrushes more often, buying disposable toothbrushes and using antibacterial mouthwash to rinse and soak could offer some benefit.
If you choose to try a UV toothbrush sanitizer, the product should be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Keep in mind that a UV sanitizer will not remove all germs.
Because the ultraviolet light may deteriorate the bristles, you should inspect and replace your toothbrush more often.
The author is a dental surgeon and a periodontist