Oral health care is a very big part of overall health care. It begins with the basics of brushing and flossing. Keeping our toothbrush clean and sanitized is a part of making that brushing successful. A toothbrush crammed full of debris and dried toothpaste is not effective. It helps to remove bateria and unwanted debris from the toothbrush. It is a common sense lesson that some people just have not taken the time to think about.
The first step is to completely rinse the toothbrush of all the toothpaste a debris that remains after brushing. It may take a little scrubbing sometimes. Most people suggest using the thumb and running it under the water and scrub for at least 15 seconds.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention clearly states that this is enough. They do not recommend any further actions. With that being said they also state that “Limited research has suggested that even after being rinsed visibly clean, toothbrushes can remain contaminated with potentially pathogenic organisms. In response to this, various means of cleaning, disinfecting or sterilizing toothbrushes between uses have been developed. To date, however, no published research data documents that brushing with a contaminated toothbrush has led to recontamination of a user’s mouth, oral infections, or other adverse health effects.”
For those who prefer to be on the safe side of eliminating germs there are plenty of options.
The newest and most high tech are the ultra violet toothbrush sanitizers. These come in a wide range as far as cost. You can get one from as little as $20 to $180.00. They appear to be effective. After scrubbing the brush it is put in the sanitizer and it does the rest.
There are those who put the toothbrush in the top rack of the dishwasher. This is effective, and it does cause addition wear on the bristles of the brush. Once they become frayed or bent it is time for a new toothbrush.
Toothbrushes can also be soaked. It is essential that if this method is used that only one brush is soaked at a time. The soaking container then needs to be drained, cleaned and have a new solution put in before the next toothbrush is sanitized.
The easiest solution to use would be an antibacterial mouthwash containing alcohol. Put in just enough to cover the bristles and allow it to soak for 10 minutes.
Some use a solution of bleach, hydrogen peroxide, and water. Equal amounts of each ingredient and a ten minute soak.
No matter what method you may choose to use, or choose not to use, wash the toothbrush before and after you brush your teeth every time.