How Well Do You Care for Your Toothbrush?

Did you know that, even if you brush your teeth twice a more a day, inadequate care and storage can render your toothbrush ineffective, and perhaps even a liability? As it sits on your sink, in a cup or tucked into a toothbrush holder, your toothbrush can collect a large number of microscopic organisms. Besides the hundreds of kinds of bacteria that already live in your mouth, these microbes can pose a danger to your oral and overall health.

A Closer Look at an Old Friend

You might not think about it much other than the couple of times a day you use it, but your toothbrush is (or should be) your main weapon against bacteria and plaque buildup. However, that doesn’t mean that the brush is immune to bacteria, and typically, it’s stored in the one area that possibly contains the most harmful germs in the house—the bathroom. According to a recent study by researchers in the School of Dentistry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, improper handwashing and microscopic mist from a flushed toilet can often facilitate the transfer of gastrointestinal germs, including fecal microorganisms, to your toothbrush.

A Healthy Smile Needs a Clean Toothbrush


After you’ve brushed your teeth, thoroughly rinse the brush with warm water to remove bacteria it may have picked up from your mouth. Also, rinse your toothbrush in antibacterial mouthrinse before every use.


If you use a toothbrush holder, be sure the bristles are completely dry before storing the brush, and don’t seal the container completely. A moist environment can help microorganisms grow and spread. Preferably, you should store your toothbrush in an upright position and allow it to air-dry.


As a native Texan, Gregory Wright, DDS, opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.