First off, you should know how frequently to replace your toothbrush. The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests that you need a new one every 3 to 4 months. However, that number is obviously not set in stone. You’re not a disgusting person if you keep a toothbrush for 6 months. Just know that if the bristles are beginning to look frayed and off-color, it’s probably a good idea to get a new one.
You should also know that it’s important to keep it clean. This includes when it is fresh out of the packaging. Toothbrushes are not ordered to be packed in a sterile package. Therefore, bacteria might already be on your toothbrush. A quick clean before its first use might be a good idea.
This begs the next question. What’s the best way to properly clean my toothbrush? After you have brushed for a full 2 minutes, you should rinse the brush with hot water, because hot water helps kill bacteria. Make sure you remove any kind of debris or toothpaste stuck to your brush. Then you should do your best to rinse it dry. The wetter it is the more inviting it is to bacteria. That’s why toothbrush holders that cover the bristles are not a suggested resting place for your toothbrush. A wet, damp environment breeds more germs. It should also be noted that there is no scientific evidence that suggests soaking your toothbrush in mouthwash or any other anti-bacterial liquid has any effect on your overall oral health. In fact, it can lead to cross contamination if other people use your bathroom.
Another useful piece of advice is to keep your toothbrush resting upward. This helps, if there happens to be traces of water left, to drip down the toothbrush as opposed to collecting in the bristles. If you do happen to use a cup as your holder, you may notice some nasty looking scum collects at the bottom. If you don’t keep it upright and resting on its side, the toothbrush will be resting in that scum.
The final piece of information in order to keep your toothbrush clean as possible is to make sure it’s placed at least 2 feet from the toilet. Some research suggests that after you flush, tiny water droplets can be flung up to 2 feet from the toilet. However, there is no clear-cut evidence that these tiny water droplets can cause illness or other oral diseases, but still it’s best to prevent unnecessary toilet water in your mouth.