Learning how to sanitize your toothbrush is an important part of your hygiene routine. Learn why you need to sanitize your toothbrush, how to disinfect it using a natural method, and how to keep it fresh for longer with this practical guide.
Why Sanitize Your Toothbrush?
We brush our teeth everyday to remove bacteria and plaque, also from the inside of our mouths. But what about the toothbrush?
Particles in the bathroom air may settle on the surface of the toothbrush. After brushing, some of the bacteria and germs removed in the brushing process may also remain on the brush. These bacteria can even multiply, meaning you could be cleaning your teeth with a dirty toothbrush.
Learning how to sanitize your toothbrush is therefore a really important step to include in your dental hygiene routine. Follow this practical guide on how to disinfect your toothbrush properly, and the steps you need to know to keep it clean and safe for continued use.
Method for Disinfecting Your Toothbrush
Learning how to disinfect your toothbrush without using toxic products couldn’t be easier. The most effective and simplest way to sanitize your toothbrush is to run it under hot water before and after use. The hot water will kill bacteria that may have accumulated on the bristles. Similarly, it will get rid of any new bacteria that you may have collected while brushing.
Make sure the water is as hot as it can get. Ideally, to the point of steam appearing. If you feel your bathroom tap is not hot enough, you can boil water in a clean pot on the stove. Once the water has boiled, remove the pot from the heat, wait a few seconds, and drop your toothbrush head in the water for 30 seconds.
The same techniques can be used for an electric toothbrush. If using boiling water, just make sure to disconnect the head from the electric base before.
Note: Do not place the toothbrush head directly into boiling water as this could melt the bristles.
How to Keep Your Toothbrush Sanitary
If you follow the sanitizing steps above, then you can maintain a clean toothbrush by storing it correctly. Here’s how:
- Keep it far away from the toilet: When you flush the toilet, the air in your bathroom is filled with faecal matter. This may spread bacteria across all surfaces, including your toothbrush. Ideally, close the toilet lid everytime before flushing to prevent this. To be extra sure, store your toothbrush in a drawer, a medicine cabinet with the door closed, or as far away from the toilet as possible.
- Keep it away from other toothbrushes: Storing your toothbrush alongside others in one cup may be convenient, but it can cause cross-contamination. By separating toothbrushes by just a few inches, you can stop bacterial cross-contamination between bristles.
Replace your toothbrush: As a general rule of thumb, you should replace your toothbrush every three to four months. You should also replace your toothbrush
- once the bristles are worn out,
- once someone else has used your toothbrush, or
- when you have been sick with an infectious disease, such as the flu.
To make sure your mouth stays as clean as your freshly sanitized toothbrush, learn how (and why) to clean your tongue with a scraper or home remedies as well.
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