People use toothbrushes daily to scrub plaque and bacteria off of their teeth and tongue. Yes, your mouth is much cleaner after a thorough brushing, but now your toothbrush contains the germs and residue from your mouth.
Most people store their toothbrushes in the bathroom. This is one of the areas in the house where bacteria can linger in the air. This article will guide you on how to disinfect a toothbrush. It will also tell you how you can keep your toothbrush clean and safe to use.
Tips on How to Disinfect Toothbrush and Make It Safe to Use
You might not know this but your toothbrush can harbor bacteria from your mouth. These bacteria can multiply if you don’t disinfect your toothbrush. Without proper disinfection, you will be cleaning your mouth with a dirty toothbrush.
Remember that your mouth is home to several different types of germs and bacteria. So, when you brush your teeth and tongue, the bacteria, saliva, and food debris transfer to your toothbrush. So, even after rinsing your toothbrush with water, it’s still contaminated with microorganisms.
Thousands of microorganisms can grow on toothbrush handles and bristles. Although many of them are harmless and are already found in your mouth, there are some that can cause illnesses, such as the flu.
Experts say that using a toothbrush with normal bacteria will not lead to oral infections. But it is a good idea to keep your toothbrush clean and disinfected.
Toothbrushes are fertile breeding for several strains of viruses and bacteria. These include the ones that cause the common cold and influenza. It is for this reason that you need to replace your toothbrush every three months.
Here are some of the ways you can prevent the spread of germs to and from your toothbrush:
● Make sure to always wash your hands before and after brushing your teeth
It is important that you always wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This includes whenever you will be touching your toothbrush. Keep in mind that your hands are the main vehicles of transmission for bacteria and viruses. So, by washing your hands before and after brushing, you can stop the spread of germs to and from its bristles.
● Proper rinsing and storing of your toothbrush
Make sure you do a thorough rinsing of your toothbrush with tap water after every use. This is to remove any remaining food particles, toothpaste, and plaque debris. After you rinse it, you should store your toothbrush in an upright position. You should allow it to air dry. Keep in mind that most of the bacteria that live on your toothbrush are anaerobic. This means they die in the presence of oxygen. So by air drying, it will kill most of the bacteria.
Remember that germs flourish in moisture and closed containers or cabinets. That’s why it is important to leave your toothbrush in the open air. Moreover, you should try not to store it close to your toilet. Also, make sure to close your toilet seat before flushing. This is to protect your toothbrush against germs from toilet plumes.
You should also avoid storing several brushes in the same holder or in a drawer together. Even if they are family members. It is also best that they do not come into contact with each other. That’s because germs can spread that way as well.
The following are some of the ways on how to disinfect toothbrush:
● Using UV Sanitizer
An ultraviolet toothbrush sanitizer is more effective and efficient than an antiseptic mouthwash. Especially for toothbrush disinfection. But some experts say that using a UV sanitizer is not necessary and can even damage your toothbrush.
● Using Disinfecting Solutions
Soaking your toothbrush in an antibacterial mouthwash can help kill bacteria on it. You can also soak it in a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Here’s what you need:
- Mix one teaspoon of peroxide in one cup of water.
- Swish the bristles of your toothbrush in the solution. Or you can soak it for 15 minutes.
- Rinse your toothbrush with water before you brush your teeth.
- If you soak your toothbrush in the solution, you should change the solution every day.
One of the easiest ways to disinfect your toothbrush is to use a mouthwash. After all, it does not only kill the germs in your mouth. It can help keep your toothbrush clean as well. You only need to fill a small cup with mouthwash. Then, stir the toothbrush bristles in the solution for 30 seconds.
● Using Baking Soda
Baking soda is a natural method you can use to disinfect your toothbrush. You only need to mix two teaspoons of baking soda into one cup of water. Make sure to do a thorough mix. Then, soak your toothbrush in the solution for 15 minutes. After that, allow your toothbrush to air dry.
● Using Denture Cleansers
Effervescent denture tablets are a great way to clean toothbrushes. These tablets have foaming action that helps loosen particles trapped in your toothbrush. Its antibacterial properties in it can kill germs.
● Running hot water over it
This is the most basic method to disinfect your toothbrush. You only need to run hot water over the bristles before and after each use. This can get rid of bacteria collected on the toothbrush in the house between brushings. It eliminates new bacteria as well.
Before you apply your toothpaste, you need to run hot water over the head of your toothbrush. Make sure that the water is not hot enough to produce steam.
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