How to Clean your Toothbrush

which toothpaste to use

Cleaning your toothbrush is actually quite simple and you’re probably doing it right without even trying. There are, though, recommended methods and guidelines from the American Dental Association, or ADA. Here at Murfreesboro Family Dentistry, we take your dental hygiene seriously and follow ADA guidelines. Here’s how to properly clean your toothbrush.

How to Clean your Toothbrush Every Day

The ADA is clear in that thoroughly rinsing your toothbrush is good enough for everyday use. After rinsing, let the toothbrush sit upright to dry and ensure it is not touching anything; keep it clear of other toothbrushes, the wall or mirror, or anything else that may be around it.

The ADA also says to let your toothbrush dry out in the open – not in a drawer or travel case or cap. Stowing your brush away does not allow for enough ventilation for it to completely dry. Any bacteria on your brush will continue to propagate as long as there is moisture. So, if you want to put your toothbrush in a drawer or case, just let it dry fully beforehand.

Cleaning your Toothbrush While You are Sick

The game changes a little bit if you are sick. Some bacteria and viruses will persist even if your toothbrush is dry. If you have not cleaned it properly, every time you brush, it is reintroducing those pathogens to your body. This can make your recovery time take longer.

The Hydrogen Peroxide Method

To properly clean your toothbrush when you are sick, use the hydrogen peroxide method.

What you’ll need:

·         1 tsp hydrogen peroxide

·         1 cup fresh water

·         A cup



1.      Put hydrogen peroxide and water in a cup

2.      Whisk the head of your toothbrush in the solution a few times

3.      Let the head soak for 5 minutes

4.      Rinse the peroxide off of the toothbrush

5.      Dump the peroxide solution and wash cup

6.      Repeat after every brush for as long as you are sick


Finding a Replacement Toothbrush

The ADA, being the authority of all things dental hygiene, also has guidelines for this. They base their recommendations for manual toothbrushes specifically on five criteria:

1.      The toothbrush is all-around safe to use

2.      The bristles are blunt, not sharp or jagged

3.      The handle is sturdy

4.      The bristles are secure and do not fall out

5.      The toothbrush is effective in combatting plaque and gum disease


The ADA uses more criteria to test electric toothbrushes as they have more components and moving parts.


Look for ADA Approved Products

When a company submits a product to the ADA for testing, they do extensive evaluations to ensure the safety and efficacy of that product. If the product passes their high level of scrutiny, then the ADA gives it their stamp of approval, literally. On the back of ADA approved products, you can find the ADA’s stamp. When purchasing any dental or oral hygiene products – toothbrushes, floss, toothpaste, mouthwash – look for their stamp.


Murfreesboro Family Dentistry can Help

Need help figuring this all out? Call Murfreesboro Family Dentistry and we can help you find the right tools for the job.


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