Toothbrush Germs and Toothbrush Care

Toothbrush Care Guidelines

You know that your mouth is one of the dirtiest places in the human body. Your mouth could be teeming with hundreds of different bacteria at any given time. Certainly, they can easily transfer onto your toothbrush. Also, you may not want your toothbrush to be attracting germs from outside the mouth. So does it make sense to cover your toothbrush for its own protection?

According to the American Dental Association, even though bacteria accumulates on your toothbrush, there is no indication they can negatively affect your oral or general health. The body fights off infections by its own natural defense mechanisms. Your skin and mucous membranes keep germs out of the body, and If they have been compromised, your circulation uses antibodies, and your digestive system has digestive acids and enzymes. Otherwise healthy people may not have to worry about bacteria in their toothbrush. However, if a person is immuno-compromised or has a disease that is transferable by blood or saliva, taking extra precautions to reduce bacterial contamination on their toothbrush may be considered.

You can sanitize or sterilize your toothbrush in different ways.

To sanitize or disinfect your toothbrush with solutions like antimicrobial mouthwash or hydrogen peroxide is commendable, though that does not mean your brush is entirely germ-free. Sterilizing your toothbrush is different and provides that all bacteria are eliminated. However, it’s important to not put your toothbrush in the dishwasher or microwave which will likely damage your brush. The ADA says that there isn’t conclusive data on the effectiveness of disinfecting your toothbrush.

Can using a toothbrush cover reduce the amount of bacteria on your brush?

It’s a good option, however closed containers create a moist environment that actually promotes the growth of bacteria. Just be careful where you store your brush.