Do you know there are more than 100 million bacteria on your toothbrush? Of course you don’t, because if you did, you would never use It! Among these bacteria are Staph and E. coli. That’s right you read that correct. The same kind of bacteria found in poop! Once you know how to disinfect a toothbrush against bacteria and viruses, you can eliminate this yuck factor, prevent spread of infection and put your mind at ease when you use it.
In this day and age, you realize the importance of disinfecting everything around you to prevent the spread of germs (bacteria and viruses) to susceptible persons. This goes for your toothbrush too. According to an article from the CDC on how infections spread: “A susceptible person is someone who is not vaccinated or otherwise immune, or a person with a weakened immune system who has a way for the germs to enter the body. For an infection to occur, germs must enter a susceptible person’s body and invade tissues, multiply, and cause a reaction.
Why would you want to put a germ-laden toothbrush inside your mouth? Or risk it infecting someone else? Your toothbrush can be disinfected. There are several ways you can do this. I will discuss how to disinfect a toothbrush along with why you should be doing it.
What Is Living on Your Toothbrush?
One of the main bugs living on your brush is Escherichia coli (E. coli). The reason for this is due to the fact that your toothbrush is usually stored in the same room as your toilet (your bathroom). E. coli is found in fecal matter. Each time the toilet is flushed, it sends an aerosol of bacteria through the air as far as 6 ft away. These bacteria are responsible for gastrointestinal disease such as gastroenteritis.
Staphylococcus aureus is rampant on your toothbrush as well. These bacteria are associated with MRSA infections which are antibiotic resistant. Streptococcus mutans is a bacteria responsible for causing cavities. This is usually seen on toothbrushes for those who suffer from decay and ideally we do not want it there. We don’t want to remove bacteria from one part of the mouth and deposit it in another.
Viruses, including the HPV virus can be found on your brush too. This is the Human papillomavirus and it is responsible for esophageal, oral and cervical cancers. Wikipedia explains the differences between viruses and bacteria, both of which you want to protect yourself from. People are worried they may reinfect themselves by using the same brush following an illness. In people who do not have underlying health conditions, this should not be a factor according to the ADA (American Dental Association).
After an illness, your body produces antibodies to the virus that caused your illness. This protects you from being reinfected with the same virus. This will prevent you from getting the same virus again. However, that being said, you are still at risk of transferring viruses to other brushes and members of your family.
Hundreds of microorganisms reside in our mouths every day. This is of concern if there is an unhealthy balance of bacteria in they mouth. You can learn more about preserving the good bacteria in our mouths by using oral probiotics. This can help ward of dental ailments such as gum disease, cavities and bad breath.
So, Let’s Talk About How to Disinfect a Toothbrush….
Simply storing your toothbrush in a solution of 1 teaspoon hydrogen peroxide to 1 cup of water can do the trick. You can also use an antibacterial mouthwash to soak your brush in. If you don’t have an antimicrobial mouthwash, you can also use a mixture of baking soda (2 teaspoons to 1 cup) to soak your brush in. Another quick tip to try is using an antimicrobial effervescent denture cleaning tablet in water to soak your brush in. These also work well. With all of these methods, you will want to remember to change the solution daily.
All of these methods can work for manual toothbrushes or for the removable heads of electric toothbrushes. Nowadays, more people are using electric toothbrushes for good reason. It is a known fact that electric toothbrushes are far superior to manual toothbrushes when it comes to plaque removal. You can read a related article about the differences between a manual and an electric toothbrush.
If you don’t like the thought of messing around with a solution to soak it in or changing solutions daily, you can purchase a product containing an ultraviolet or UV light. These devices are inexpensive and do not require any effort on your part. Just place your toothbrush in the device once you are done using it and it will be ready to go next time you want to use it. There are also electric toothbrushes that come equipped with a UV storage to automatically disinfect your toothbrush.
What Not to Do
Don’t store your toothbrush in a holder where it will be in contact with other brushes. This will easily allow bacteria and viruses to spread from one brush to the next. Make sure not to store your brush close to the toilet. The farther away the better. If you can keep it in a cupboard with lots of space, that would be ideal. Allowing your brush to air dry (if not being soaked in a solution) will keep the germs from spreading.
Also, don’t use a cover on your toothbrush. These are perfect breeding grounds for germs to spread due to their dark, moist environment. It is fine to use a cover when traveling, but make sure to uncover it as soon as you’ve reached your destination.
It is also not a good idea to keep using a toothbrush if the bristles show signs of wear. This can be shown as bent or splayed bristles. When the bristles are in this condition, they are more likely to harbor bacteria and will not do a good job of cleaning properly. Dental professionals recommend replacing toothbrushes at least every 3 months or sooner if bristles show signs of wear.
Don’t try to disinfect your toothbrush using the dishwasher, microwave or by boiling it in water. These methods may work to disinfect your toothbrush, but they are also likely to damage your brush.
Toothbrushes With Built-In Sanitation
Phillips Sonicare Flexcare Platinum Rechargeable Toothbrush With Built-In Sanitizing
- Up to 62,000 brush strokes per minute compared with 500 per minute with a manual toothbrush
- Sonicare app allows for feedback on personal use such as areas that need more attention
- Built-in pressure sensor alerts you to when too much pressure is being applied to avoid overbrushing
- Built-in ultraviolet sanitation system to disinfect brush head between uses that kills 99% of bacteria and viruses
- Smart sensor technology informs you of areas where you are brushing too little
- Provides personalized brushing data for improved performance with a “touch up” feature allowing you to instantly go back and brush these areas
- Achieve 10x better plaque removal compared to a manual brush in just 2 weeks
- 3 brushing modes plus 3 adjustable intensity levels
- #1 recommended brand by dental professionals
The best place to buy Phillips Sonicare Flexcare Platinum Rechargeable Toothbrush with Built-In Sanitizing
Fairywill PRO Sonic Electric Toothbrush with UV Sanitizing
- Contains 8 Dupont brush heads: 3 large for daily cleaning, 2 circular-arced for deep cleaning and 3 rubberized brush heads for gum health
- Built-in smart timer to allow for full 2 minute brushing time with quad pacer to allow 30 seconds for each quadrant
- Provides 40,000 brush strokes per minute for healthy gums, clean teeth and fresh breath
- Wireless charging dock provides easy and safe charging
- Kills 99.99% of germs with UV sanitation
- Comes with UV sanitation charging travel case to have clean brushes while on the go
- 5 brushing modes to choose from depending on the level of clean desired
- Achieve healthier gums and noticeably whiter teeth in as little as 2 weeks
- Up to 10x better plaque control versus a manual toothbrush.
The best place to buy Fairywill PRO Sonic Electric Toothbrush with UV Sanitizing, Ultraviolet Sanitizing Charging Base & Sterilizing Charging Travel Case, Caring Rechargeable Whitening Toothbrush Family Set, 8 Brush Heads
TAO Clean Germ Shield UV Sanitizing
- Universal Cleaning Station that accommodates all manual and electric toothbrushes
- Battery charger so it can be used for travel
- Kills 99.99% of germs with ultraviolet light while toothbrush is not being used
- Comes with a two-year warranty from a trusted company
- Patented design can be easily stored on counter top without electrical outlet
LNDMA UV Sanitizing Toothbrush Holder, Disinfection Box
- Built in 360 degree full scale disinfection will sterilize brush and handle
- Can be used on manual brushes as well as electric brush heads
- One piece combination of storage and sterilization for up to 5 brushes and 1 razor
- Eliminates 99.9% of harmful germs in only 15 minutes
- USB charging so no need to change a battery
- Energy saving, low power operation
- BPA free and waterproof
- Storage for toothpaste if desired
The best place to buy LNDMA UV Sanitizing Toothbrush Holder, Disinfection Box for Toothbrush and Razor Hygiene
The Takeaway of How to Disinfect a Toothbrush
Now you have options on how to disinfect a toothbrush. If you want to use an inexpensive way to do it, you can try soaking your brush in an antimicrobial solution. Among these include the solutions mentioned; antimicrobial mouthwash and hydrogen peroxide.
However, you do have options if you prefer not to deal with messy solutions you need to change daily. You can either invest in an electric toothbrush with a built in sanitizing or purchase a separate sanitizing device. A device like this will allow you to use your current toothbrush.
We all want to do our part when it comes to reducing germs. Please do what you can do to prevent the spread of disease to you and your loved ones. You can leave your comments and questions below and I would be happy to help!
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