Cleaning and Storing Your Toothbrush
Rinse your toothbrush after brushing. Be sure to remove all toothpaste, biofilm, and food residue. Make sure the bristles separate and move freely–you don’t want them held together by any type of residue. Store your toothbrush upright and allow it to air dry. Make sure it doesn’t contact other toothbrushes.
The simpler your toothbrush design, the fewer bacteria it will retain after brushing. Your toothbrush should fully dry between uses. This minimizes the number of bacteria that survive on the brush. If you brush your teeth too frequently to allow adequate air drying of a single toothbrush, either rotate multiple brushes or consider sanitizing your toothbrush.
To sanitize your toothbrush, consider soaking in either a 3% peroxide solution or in Listerine or equivalent solution for 20 minutes. Note that not all mouthwashes have equivalent germicidal properties, and using the wrong style might result in more contamination. You can also get a toothbrush sanitizer that uses ultraviolet light. These are effective if you clean your toothbrush thoroughly before placing it under the light.
Do not try to clean or sterilize your toothbrush using:
- The dishwasher
- The microwave
- Boiling water
The heat from these techniques can damage your toothbrush.
Even if you sanitize your toothbrush, you should not share it with others.