Should You Disinfect Your Toothbrush?

Colorful toothbrushes sit in a clear glass.

Most of us clean our bathroom once a week and disinfect all the surfaces, but is there an item we’ve been forgetting?

Disinfecting your toothbrush sounds a bit weird, and it isn’t a necessary step for quality oral care. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t legitimate reasons to incorporate it into your cleaning routine.

First, there’s the phenomenon known as toilet plume. This is, well, the very gross event that happens whenever you flush the toilet with the lid raised. Essentially, bits of fecal matter could float into the air and potentially land on your toothbrush if it’s stored nearby. Ew!

Toothbrush disinfection is also a good idea if you or a family member has recently been sick. For those who store their toothbrushes near one another—think couples or kids who share a stand—germs can spread with just a quick touch of bristles.

To eliminate this, you can disinfect after the illness has ended. Also, if you’re a frequent traveler, it might be a good idea to sanitize after your return.

But how exactly do you disinfect a toothbrush?

There are two simple ways: hydrogen peroxide or antiseptic mouthwash. No matter which you choose, follow these steps:

  1. Rinse the toothbrush in clean water.
  2. Pour the mouthwash or hydrogen peroxide into a cup and place the toothbrush in it, bristles down.
  3. Allow it to soak for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the toothbrush, rinse with clean water again, and you’ve got a disinfected toothbrush.

Now, next time you brush your teeth, you’ll know your toothbrush is qualified for the job.

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