Toilets, Toothbrushes, and the Little Germy Guys – How to Keep Your Toothbrush Clean


dental plaque bacteria

We know you are not rinsing your toothbrush in the toilet, but some of you might as well be. When a toilet is flushed, the germs are spewed out in an invisible aerosol spray that can travel over 6 feet.

Bacteria and viruses from your own mouth can also gather on your toothbrush and be reintroduced the next time you clean your teeth. This can be an issue if you have gum disease, or recently experienced a cold or the flu.

Enough with the gross stuff.  Now that we have your attention, you are probably wondering what you can do to protect your family? Keep in mind that this is especially important for anyone receiving chemotherapy or who has a compromised immune system.

Here are our recommendations:

  • Teach everyone in your family to put the toilet seat down when they flush
  • Brushes should be thoroughly rinsed and allowed to dry between uses
  • Do not put a cap over brushes as bacteria love to grow in dark, damp places
  • Store toothbrushes in a cabinet or at least 6 feet away from the toilet
  • Clean and disinfect bathroom surfaces regularly
  • When a person is healthy, brushes should be replaced every 3-4 months
  • If a person has periodontal disease or compromised health,  1-2 months
  • Don’t store family toothbrushes where they can touch each other, especially if someone has gum disease or has been sick
  • Disinfect brushes by immersing them in peroxide or an antimicrobial mouthwash

Knoxville Family & Sedation Dentistry (865) 922-1613