Numerous species of bacteria and germs live in your mouth. The germs, saliva, toothpaste, food particles, and blood that you brush off of your teeth and tongue stay on your toothbrush.
According to studies, a toothbrush might still be contaminated with bacteria even after being rinsed with water. Dental professionals also claim that toothbrush handles and bristles can support the growth of hundreds of different species of germs.
Though most of the bacteria that are naturally present in your mouth are safe, some, like the flu, can be contagious. And cleaning your toothbrush with salt water can make it germ free and safe for use.
There is no scientific study that proves that using a toothbrush with germs on it can cause oral infections or other health issues. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to keep your toothbrush clean. Here are some ways to achieve this:
Rinse toothbrush under hot running water
Most of the time, rinsing your toothbrush under hot running water is sufficient to keep it clean.
- Wash your toothbrush both before and after each use.
- Rinse your toothbrush after you’re done brushing, then shake off any extra water. To help remove the water, swipe your finger or thumb across the bristles.
- The bristles will become softer and loosen toothpaste and food residue with the aid of hot water.
- To make the bristles stiffen up, run your thumb under hot water and then through cold water again.
- If you decide to put a holder or container over your toothbrush, let it air dry first while standing upright.
- Air dry – Mold or germs tend to grow more easily in a damp atmosphere. According to studies, toothbrushes kept in travel cases, locked containers, and toothbrush covers harbor more bacteria than those that are allowed to air dry.
Cleaning toothbrush with baking soda
Your toothbrush should be soaked for 15 to 20 minutes in a solution made up of 2 tablespoons of baking soda in 1 cup of warm water. You can also replace the baking soda with salt for cleaning your toothbrush. Using either salt or baking soda will provide the same outcomes.
How to clean toothbrush with vinegar
You can also disinfect your toothbrush with Apple Cider Vinegar. Simply mix 50% of the ACV with 50% water before soaking your toothbrush for 15 minutes. You may want to soak your toothbrush for another 15 minutes in clear water to get rid of the taste before letting it air dry.
How to clean a toothbrush after someone else use it
Sharing meals and cutlery with your family is commonplace, but sharing a toothbrush is not. This, according to experts, is because brushing can occasionally make gums bleed. Therefore, sharing a toothbrush puts you at risk for contracting illnesses brought on by blood contact.
To reduce the risk of another person using your toothbrush accidentally, each family member usually has a distinctively colored toothbrush that is simple to identify.
That said, there are still some instances when someone else may use your toothbrush. Here are some ways to clean and disinfect it:
- Never put your toothbrush in the dishwasher or microwave because the heat could harm it.
- Use an ultraviolet (UV) light sanitizer chamber or product to disinfect the toothbrush. Studies claim that UV disinfectants are more effective than saline and antiseptic mouthwash (chlorhexidine gluconate).
Soak in antibiotic mouthwash or hydrogen peroxide
According to some research, soaking your toothbrush in an antibiotic mouthwash or a solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide can help eliminate any bacteria that may be on it.
To create this remedy,
- Mix 1 cup of water with 1 teaspoon of peroxide
- Swish the brush bristles around in the liquid or let it soak for 15 minutes.
- Thoroughly rinse your toothbrush before brushing with it again.
- If you decide to clean your toothbrush again after brushing, make sure to prepare some fresh solution every time.
- Give it a 30-second rinse in the antibiotic mouthwash. If you don’t have mouthwash, you can use salt, baking soda, or vinegar as discussed above.
Cleaning your toothbrush with denture cleaning solution
You can clean your toothbrush with cleansers for dentures. Enzymes and detergents in denture cleaning products aid in the breakdown of dietary proteins. Denture toothpastes and soaking solutions contain citric acid and sodium bicarbonate that can also aid in removing food particles caught between toothbrush bristles. Make sure to rinse your toothbrush properly after using the denture cleanser.
How to clean electric toothbrush head
Like a regular toothbrush, an electric toothbrush head should be cleaned. Generally speaking, cleaning an electric toothbrush head is similar to cleaning a normal toothbrush.
- Before using anything other than toothpaste and warm water on your toothbrush, be sure to unplug the toothbrush head from the electric base.
- Before cleaning the toothbrush, separate the head from the handle.
- Use warm water or a brief mouthwash soak and store your electric toothbrush in a clean, dry area if it doesn’t detach from the handle.
Electric toothbrush heads should be changed every three months or whenever the bristles start to fade or wear out, just like with manual toothbrushes.
How to clean electric toothbrush handle
Clean the handle with a mild cleaner or a bleach solution while the electric toothbrush head is soaking to get rid of extra filth (use a cotton swab-dipped solution to clean out the area where the head is attached). After 30 minutes, warm water should be used to rinse the toothbrush’s head and handle.
How to clean electric toothbrush holder
The toothbrush holder is the third grimiest spot in the house, with more coliforms than the handles in your bathroom. This is according to a 2011 research by NSF International.
The toothbrush container holds more germs than the faucet handles in your bathroom. In fact, the survey found that the kitchen sink and the dish sponge you meant to toss (or microwave!) a month ago are the only places in your house where there are more bacteria.
The dirt that resides in your toothbrush holder may be easily removed by first ensuring that any apparent gunk, grease, or other stuck-on residue is scraped, stripped, and removed before we can begin to clean the item.
Even after being sterilized in your dishwasher, residue can conceal germs, viruses, and coliforms (think Salmonella and E. coli). Toothbrush holders, particularly the “cup-style” holders, are sometimes hollow and challenging to keep clean.
Twice daily, toothpaste residue, saliva, and even blood from your toothbrush can drip into the toothbrush holder (after each brushing).
To ensure that you have a clean toothbrush holder, do the following:
- To loosen any built-up grime, soak your toothbrush holder in hot, soapy water for ten minutes.
- Scrub ferociously until the unpleasant muck is removed using soap, a pipe cleaner, a straw cleaner, or another little brush that fits in the holes of your toothbrush holder.
- After cleaning the substance, sanitize the monster using one of the following methods: Place it in the dishwasher; Give it a 30-second soak in hot water; Give it a 30-minute soak in vinegar; Spend 30 minutes soaking it in a 1:10 bleach solution.
Any toothbrush coverings and storage containers you use to keep your toothbrushes can become contaminated with bacteria from your toothbrush. Every two weeks, clean the containers and coverings for your toothbrushes to prevent the growth of hazardous bacteria. Your toothbrush doesn’t have to be covered, but if you do, make sure to let it air dry first. The bristles of a wet toothbrush may get more contaminated if it is covered.