How a Toothbrush Sanitizer Works
Let's talk first about the difference between sanitizing (or disinfecting) a toothbrush versus sterilizing it. A sanitizer can't actually sterilize a toothbrush, so you can't be sure it's completely bacteria-free.
Even if a sanitizer claims to kill 99.99% of the germs on your toothbrush, millions of germs could remain. Did you know you have 6 billion bacteria – good and bad – in your mouth? Amazing!
Nevertheless, a toothbrush sanitizer can:
- Give you peace of mind, especially if you're living with other people who are or aren't family.
- Raise your awareness of the care and cleaning of your home dental equipment.
Toothbrush sanitizers typically function in one of three ways so you can eliminate harmful bacteria:
- Steam and Dry Heat: Steam and dry heat take turns sanitizing the toothbrush, leaving it dry enough to avoid creating a breeding ground for bacteria.
- Ultraviolet Light: The sanitizing power of UV light zaps the bacteria.
- UV and Heat: Combining two bacteria-killers, this sanitizing method doesn't increase its effectiveness – it can still only kill up to 99.99% of bacteria. But it might double your peace of mind.
You can find battery-operated or rechargeable toothbrush sanitizers of all shapes, sizes, and prices with a simple search. There are wall-mounted, free-standing, and portable varieties. Some hold multiple toothbrushes, and some only one at a time.
Whatever type of toothbrush sanitizer you choose to use, the American Dental Association (ADA) advises only buying ones approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).