What Everyone Should Know About Electric Toothbrush Hygiene

Oral hygiene is one of the most trivial rituals of today‘s society, and while it’s common knowledge to know how to brush your teeth properly, how much do you really know about taking care of our toothbrush?

Studies reveal, that through saliva, blood and external sources your toothbrush can become contaminated with all kinds of micro-organisms, and although there is no published research data confirming that brushing with a contaminated toothbrush ever led to health problems, it’s still a good idea to keep your toothbrush clean.

There are plenty of methods for maintaining a pristine toothbrush, from simple rinsing with hot water, to some more advanced and even very questionable, like putting your toothbrush in a dishwasher. In this article you will find the most popular and effective ways to maintain a hygienic toothbrush.

Don’t share toothbrushes

It seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t seem to have a problem sharing a toothbrush, and with it, all of their bacteria and viruses. Only use your own toothbrush and don’t let others use it.

Always wash your hands before brushing

Another self-explanatory method, but this one’s very important. Interesting fact – the most bacteria-infested place in an average household is the restroom sink. It’s because your hands, when being washed, leave all the dirt and bacteria in it. So, unless you want to do the same to your toothbrush – brush your teeth only after you’ve cleansed your hands.

Keep your toothbrush dry

After every brushing, make sure to shake the water off your toothbrush and let it dry properly, because a wet environment is ideal for micro-organisms to flourish. Also, store it in an upright position, so that the water drains away from the bristles.

Don’t keep a toothbrush in a closed container

It’s a common mistake to keep toothbrushes in closed containers, but that is really unsanitary, because the humid conditions can lead to forming of bacterial or fungal growth on the toothbrush. If you need to pack the toothbrush for a trip, you should use a container that has small holes in it.

Soak your toothbrush in disinfecting solutions

Although the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) don’t insist on this method, it won’t hurt to sterilize your toothbrush, using disinfecting solutions or mouthwash. However, it’s advised not to use the solution with multiple toothbrushes, as this can lead to cross contamination between them.

Replace your toothbrush heads regularly

No matter how well you take care of your toothbrush, it is bound to wear and thus needs to be replaced at least every 3 months, if not more often. When a toothbrush is used for too long, the bristles become damaged and don’t clean your teeth properly. Also, the older the toothbrush, the more prone it is to bacterial contamination.

Other methods of toothbrush hygiene

There are other techniques that can be used to disinfect a toothbrush – putting your toothbrush in a dishwasher or a microwave, pouring boiling water on it, even boiling it altogether, or using ultraviolet devices. However, these techniques are neither necessary nor good for your toothbrush. They can actually do damage to its bristles or even melt it, so are probably not the best way to go.

While toothbrush hygiene may not be maintained by many people, it is an important part of oral hygiene. By keeping your brush clear, you minimize the chances of mouth recontamination and oral diseases. It doesn’t take up much of your time and is just good practice, taken up by more people every day. Still, there’s no need to go overboard – the simplest methods are often the most effective.