Toothbrush Care 101

toothbrush care for oral health columbus gaYour toothbrush is inside your mouth for four minutes every day, so you need to make sure it’s clean, stored properly, and know when to retire it. Dr. Albert Caves of Columbus GA encourages you to take a look at the do’s and don’ts of how to care for your toothbrush so you can keep your smile healthy.


Rinse your toothbrush with tap water after using it. Leaving toothpaste residue on your bristles means that your brush won’t be clean for the next time you use it, and the rinsing will wash away the plaque that was just removed from your teeth.

Store the brush upright and open to allow it to air dry. This allows the excess water to run off so you won’t get mildew or bacteria growing on your toothbrush. Some bacteria die when exposed to air, so letting the brush air dry will take care of them!

Replace the toothbrush every 3-4 months- every six months  at most. Do it when you see your dentist for a regular cleaning so you remember. If you notice bristles coming off your brush, bending, or fraying, you should replace the brush then.


Don’t share toothbrushes with others- even family! Sharing toothbrushes allows for the transfer of germs and bacteria to others which risks not only your oral health, but the other person’s as well.

Don’t leave the toothbrush soaking in mouthwash or other sanitizing agents. This is unnecessary and could even be poisonous to you. Allowing the brush to air dry is effective for killing most bacteria.

Don’t store your brush in a closed container. While you may have heard that toothbrushes can be exposed to bacteria from the toilet, it’s still not wise to store them in closed containers. Sealing up your brush allows bacteria to flourish in the moist and enclosed environment, which would be harmful to your mouth and your health.

That being said, don’t store your toothbrush too close to the toilet either. Germs can indeed go airborne after your flush and could land on the toothbrush. Try to store it somewhere far away from the toilet but where it’s still able to air dry.

Toothbrushes do not need special treatment in order to keep them safe and sanitary. A good rinsing after use and allowing them to air dry is enough to keep your smile clean and healthy – just make sure you replace them regularly to maintain their effectiveness.