How to Disinfect a Toothbrush

A toothbrush with toothpaste on it. Photo Cred: William Warby on Flickr.
It is not often that we think about cleaning our toothbrush. (This is probably because we are too busy cleaning our mouths!) However, this is an extremely important task. Especially with this being cold and flu season. In this blog, we will go over how to disinfect a toothbrush.

Before we go into how to disinfect your toothbrush, let’s first state why this is so important. First off, there are no requirements for toothbrushes to be sold in sterilized packaging. So there may be bacteria on your toothbrush before it even touches your mouth! Secondly, as most of us know, there are millions of bacteria growing in our mouths daily. That is why we are reminded to brush our teeth daily by the dentist. Although some of these bacteria go down the drain when you are done brushing, there is a significant amount of bacteria that remains on your toothbrush. The bottom line: Your toothbrush is always at risk for containing bacteria.

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Tips to disinfecting your toothbrush:

The Old Fashioned Way

The majority of us do this. However, we need to do a more thorough job. After using your toothbrush, rinse in warm water for 15 seconds, store upright (to air-dry), and avoid storing your toothbrush in a cabinet or drawer. (Dark, moist environments help produce bacteria.)

Using Peroxide

Soak your toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide for roughly 3–5 minutes. Then rinse out thoroughly with hot water.

Using Mouthwash

Same as the peroxide tip above. Soak your toothbrush in mouthwash for roughly 3–5 minutes. Then rinse out thoroughly with hot water.

Use Your Dishwasher

This one is simple. Place your toothbrush in the silverware tray and run the dishwasher as normal.

Boil It

Place your toothbrush in boiling water for about 2–3 minutes. Boiling kills most germs.

Using Vinegar and Backing Soda

Mix 1/2 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, and a 1/2 scoop of baking soda. Place your toothbrush in this for 30 minutes.