Basic Toothbrush Care
Common-sense tips for getting the most out of your toothbrush
You may take it for granted, but your toothbrush is your first-line defense against gum disease.
- Replace your toothbrush every 3–4 months (or sooner if the bristles start to bend or fray).
- Rinse your toothbrush with tap water after brushing and allow it to air dry. This gets rid of bacteria that die when exposed to air.
- Store your toothbrush upright so it can drain and air dry faster.
- Allow your toothbrush to air dry completely before packing it away for a vacation.
- Share toothbrushes. Sharing could spread germs and the bacteria that cause tooth decay.
- Place your toothbrush in a small container for long periods of time. Moisture encourages bacteria to grow.
- Keep your toothbrush near the toilet. Germs become airborne during flushing and could end up on your toothbrush.
Toothbrush care myths
Your toothbrush doesn’t need any special cleaning wizardry. Soaking your toothbrush in mouthwash or sanitizer won’t make it cleaner (and could possibly poison you!) And washing your toothbrush in a dishwasher can damage it, reducing functionality. Simply running it under tap water will do the trick.
Want to learn more about taking care of your mouth?