Tempe Dentist, AZ 85283, Family, Cosmetic

Is Toothbrush Disinfection Really Necessary?

03 Sep, 2018 dental-care

Is Toothbrush Disinfection Necessary?Dental Care in Tempe

Examine your toothbrush. I've seen how mine seems to look dirtier with each passing day. Is your toothbrush developing that kind of appearance?

The question arises if a toothbrush should be disinfected or not at this point. You'd think that it should, right? That's what I thought until I saw what the experts suggested. Discover whether toothbrush disinfection is necessary or not.

The Experts Say No to Toothbrush Disinfection

According to Colgate, there's no need to sanitize or disinfect your toothbrush. The experts point out that performing any disinfecting process on the bristles might damage them.

Do you pay attention to your toothbrushing habits? I sure do. And there are a few tips that I'd like to share. Most people rinse the bristles with cold water. Ideally, turn to warm water instead. The warmth dislodges food particles that will otherwise stay stuck in the bristles as they dry.

Brush your teeth with clean hands too. Grasping the toothbrush's handle and cleaning off the bristles with your fingers can contaminate the areas, which leads to possible microbe growth. Keeping your hands clean will only protect your toothbrush and oral cavity from any unwanted germs.

Dos and Don'ts of Toothbrush Storage

I used to have a clever cover for my toothbrush. You might have one as well. It's a fact that microbes in your bathroom can possibly contaminate your toothbrush, reports the California Childcare Health Program. It makes sense to cover the toothbrush. Right?

Matter of fact, covering the toothbrush only leads to more microbe activity. They're looking for dark and moist areas to reproduce. The cover only helps them thrive.

Look for a toothbrush holder that keeps the bristles upright and open to the air. Any moisture will evaporate from the bristles. This will leave the microbes with no areas to grow.

The Cold Factor

Questions often arise when a person deals with a cold or flu. Do you wonder if you should throw out your toothbrush? The answer is yes. After the worst of your cold has abated, toss out your old toothbrush.

The germs associated with the sickness can fester on your toothbrush. There's no real way to treat the bristles other than soaking them in mouthwash for about 15 minutes. However, the best way to protect yourself from further sickness is replacing the toothbrush.

Sharing is a No-No

Toothbrush disinfection isn't necessary because the contaminants are relatively limited. Your mouth and surrounding environment are the only contaminant contributors. Any microbes that do persist on the bristles won't thrive because you properly store the brush.

Problems arise when you share toothbrushes. Germs from two mouths create a perfect storm of microbes. Drying out the bristles may not work as well as it should.

Always reserve one toothbrush for each person in the house. If you tend to have visitors on a regular basis, keep extra toothbrushes around for their use. Your dentist may be able to provide you with additional toothbrushes without too much cost involved.


You might look at your toothbrush in a whole new light now. I know I do. Share your newfound knowledge with friends and loved ones. Toothbrush disinfection isn't necessary, but daily hygiene is always welcome for your reliable toothbrush.

Noble Dental Care is accepting new patients and would love to be your Tempe dentist. Call our office today for an appointment. We look forward to meeting you!