Your toothbrush is one of the most important tools you use to keep your teeth clean and
healthy—but what do you do when it comes to keeping your toothbrush clean and healthy?
Toothbrushes do best when they are stored in optimal conditions and are replaced every few
months. Keeping your toothbrush clean can help you to keep your mouth clean as well. You can
follow these tips for storing your toothbrush and keeping it fresh for the most success with your
Skip the Case
Some toothbrushes may come with a travel case that fits the brush. It’s never a good idea to
store your toothbrush in these cases. Keeping your toothbrush enclosed in a space where it
can’t air out will keep your toothbrush moist between cleanings and allow bacteria to grow.
You should also never store your toothbrush in a medicine cabinet for the same reason. Ideally,
your toothbrush should be stored upright and allowed to air out completely before you use it
again. This will prevent bacteria from growing between uses!
Rinse After Using
It’s always a good idea to rinse your toothbrush once you’re finished using it to wash off any
food particles, toothpaste, and bacteria that may have accumulated on there during your
brushing. You don’t need to use special water for this, a simple rinse with tap water is fine.
Some patients try to sanitize their toothbrush using a dishwasher or toothbrush sanitizing
solutions found at the store. However, there is no evidence that these work any better than
simply letting your toothbrush air dry and replacing it as needed.
Replace When Necessary
Your toothbrush should ideally be replaced every three or four months. Do not wait until your toothbrush’s bristles are frayed or damaged to replace your brush. Whether or not your toothbrush looks like it needs to be replaced, it’s a good idea to start using a new one after approximately 90 days.
Replacing your toothbrush sooner may be necessary if the bristles are frayed, someone other
than you used your toothbrush, or you’ve recently gotten treatment for gum disease or had a
cavity filled. You don’t want to spread old bacteria to your healthy new smile!
It’s never a good idea to share your toothbrush, even if it’s with a relative. Our mouths contain
billions of bacteria, some of which are responsible for causing tooth decay and gum disease.
Even worse, if the person you’re sharing your toothbrush with has gum disease, you may even
be exposing yourself to their blood.
Similarly, it’s a good idea to keep your toothbrush away from other toothbrushes. It’s okay to
have toothbrushes in the same holder, just be sure they don’t touch. Many holders contain
individual holes for you to put each toothbrush in separately to prevent bacteria from
You can allow your toothbrush to continue being an effective tool in your oral care by storing it
properly after each use and replacing it when necessary. Keeping a spare toothbrush in your
bathroom can make it easy to begin using a new toothbrush as soon as you’re ready to toss
your old one!