The Do’s and Don’ts of Toothbrush Care

dentist in gaithersburgYour toothbrush spends about four minutes in your mouth every day. So wouldn’t you want it to be clean? This is why making sure it’s stored properly and replaced at the appropriate time is so important. Dr. Corey Anolik and Dr. Steven Anolik of Totally Smiles Dental group in Gaithersburg, MD encourage you to take a look at the do’s and don’ts of how to care for your toothbrush so you can stay healthy and have a beautiful smile.


Rinse your toothbrush with tap water after using it. Leaving toothpaste residue behind on your brush means that it won’t be clean for the next time you use it. Rinsing it will also flush out any plaque that was just removed from your teeth.

Store your brush upright and open to allow it to dry in the open air. This allows the excess water to dry off so your toothbrush will not grow mildew or host live bacteria. Most bacteria will die when exposed to air, so letting the brush air dry is sufficient to safely kill them.

Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or at the absolute latest, every six months. A good way to remember this is to replace it when you see your dentist for a regular cleaning. However, if you find bristles are coming off, bending, or fraying, your should replace the brush when that happens.


Don’t share toothbrushes. Sharing toothbrushes allows for the transfer of your germs and bacteria to others, risking not only your oral health, but the other person’s as well.

Don’t sanitize the toothbrush in mouthwash or other sanitizing agents. This is unnecessary and may even be hazardous to your health. Allowing the brush to air dry should be enough to control germs and bacteria.

Don’t store it in a closed container. While you may have heard that toothbrushes are exposed to bacteria from toilets flushing, you should not store them in closed containers either. Doing this creates a dark, enclosed environment for bacteria to flourish which would be harmful to your health.

That being said, don’t store your toothbrush too close to the toilet. Germs can indeed go airborne after flushing and could land on your toothbrush. Try to store it far away from the toilet where it’s still able to air dry.

Toothbrushes don’t need special cleaning in order to keep them sanitary. Simply rinsing them with water after use, allowing them to air dry and replacing them when they become worn out is enough to keep you and your smile healthy.

Dental Care in Gaithersburg, MD

If you are in the Gaithersburg, MD area and would like a consultation with a Totally Smiles dentist about any dental concern, call 301-701-5861 or schedule online today!