Toothbrushes need to be maintained so they can remove plaque to help keep teeth and gums healthy. Toothbrush storage is vital to a clean and sanitary oral care routine. Read these tips for storing your toothbrush at home and while traveling so that your toothbrush can work hard to help you keep your mouth healthy.
How to Store Your Toothbrush Safely
The best way to store your toothbrush is to use a holder made for this purpose. Do not use random household items like plastic bags, pieces of toilet paper, or foil. Toothbrush holders will have air holes to ensure proper drying, and they will not damage the bristles as makeshift covers do.
Air is essential for toothbrushes. You may assume that keeping tight covers on your toothbrushes or hiding them away in a cabinet or drawer keeps them away from germs. However, if there isn't enough air to dry your toothbrush, it may grow more germs when stored in a damp area. Cabinets or drawers can be good places to store them as long as there is enough air to dry the toothbrush after use.
How to store a toothbrush when travelling
Before you go on a trip, invest in a travel toothbrush cap or a portable holder to keep the toothbrush head protected from other items in your travel bag. However, don't store the toothbrush like this forever. A toothbrush builds up germs even if it isn't used frequently. Every toothbrush (travel or regular) needs to be replaced every three months.
Keep your toothbrush holder away from the toilet and sink. Did you know that flushing the toilet can create an aerosol effect, spraying germs through the air? Shutting the toilet lid can help, but keeping toothbrushes as far away from the toilet as possible can reduce the amount of germs that may land on them.
Keeping toothbrushes away from the sink can also keep them more sanitary. When you use the sink to wash, water, soap, and germs can splash on your toothbrushes. Find a good place away from the toilet and as far away from splashing water as you can. You can invest in a wall-mounted toothbrush holder or a holder with a lid (as long as there is enough airflow to dry the toothbrush!) or use the medicine cabinet.
Ensure that each family member has their unique toothbrush, so you don't mistake another toothbrush for yours! Even toothbrushes that are cleaned frequently shouldn't be used among multiple people as it increases infection risk. Store toothbrushes away from each other, too, so germs can't spread across toothbrushes.
Clean your toothbrush and your toothbrush holder frequently. Regularly cleaning them will clear your items from dust, germs, and dried toothpaste. Depending on the holder, you could put it in the dishwasher, wipe it down with sanitising wipes, or use soap and water.
Remember: keeping your toothbrush clean helps your oral care as well. The most sanitary way to store your toothbrush is to keep the toothbrush in a clean holder where airflow can dry the toothbrush. At the same time, it should not be contaminated by bathroom germs. Maintaining your toothbrush, storing it in a sanitary way, and cleaning your toothbrush's holder will prevent the build-up of germs and help protect the bristles.