The Care and Cleaning of Your Toothbrush

Each day, your toothbrush spends around four minutes in your mouth, so you’ll want to make sure it’s clean and stored properly, and know when to replace it. Dr. Natasha Radosavljevic, Dr. Rados for short, of Clearwater, FL encourages you to take a look at the do’s and don’ts of how to care for your toothbrush so you can keep your smile healthy.


Rinse your toothbrush out with tap water after you’ve used it. Leaving toothpaste residue means that you’re also leaving plaque that was just removed behind as well. You want your toothbrush clean for the next time you brush.  

Store the brush upright for water to run down off of it and out in the open to allow it to air dry. Leaving it exposed will prevent mildew or bacteria growth on your toothbrush. Some bacteria die when exposed to air, so letting the brush air dry can kill these bacteria off!

Replace the toothbrush every 3-4 months, no more than six months at most. Replacing it when you see your dentist for a regular cleaning may help remind you. If you notice bristles coming off, bending, or fraying, then your brush needs to be replaced sooner.


Don’t share toothbrushes. Sharing toothbrushes transfers bacteria from one mouth to another, 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 toxic to you. Your brush drying out in the open should be enough to kill off the worst germs.

Don’t store it in a closed container. While you may have heard that toothbrushes are exposed to bacteria from the toilet, you shouldn’t store them in closed containers. This closed environment allows bacteria to flourish due to the high moisture.

That being said, don’t store your toothbrush too close to the toilet. Germs can indeed go airborne after flushing and stick to the toothbrush. Try to store it somewhere it can air dry but is still far away from the toilet.

Toothbrushes do not require special cleaning in order to keep them safe to use. Simply rinsing them after use and allowing them to air dry is sufficient to keep your smile clean and healthy – just make sure you replace them regularly.

If you are in the Clearwater, FL area and would like a cleaning or consultation, call 727.360.4302 or schedule an appointment online to meet with Dr. Rados and her skilled and professional staff.