Eew, Germs! How to Clean and Store Your Toothbrush Safely

red toothbrush on a blue backdrop- how store a toothbrush

Eew, Germs! How to Clean and Store Your Toothbrush Safely

Germs are everywhere—especially in the bathroom, where they can easily contaminate your toothbrush. And they live in our mouths, too. When you brush your teeth, those germs can get transferred to your toothbrush. So how do you store a toothbrush safely so that you can keep it clean? Today we’re sharing some tips on how to keep your toothbrush squeaky-clean.

How to Store Your Toothbrush

Properly storing your toothbrush after brushing your teeth is the best way to keep it clean. Storing it correctly will mitigate the chances of your toothbrush harboring bacteria and introducing even more germs to your mouth. 

At Home 

  • Let your toothbrush air-dry. Germs like bacteria and mold tend to multiply in damp environments. By letting your toothbrush dry completely between uses, you can prevent more germs from growing.
  • Store your toothbrush upright. This helps water drain away from the bristles so it can dry more quickly.
  • Do not let toothbrushes touch each other. Every mouth is different, and each one harbors different germs. Keeping toothbrushes separate limits the transfer of germs. 
  • Store your toothbrush in a cabinet or drawer. Do not store it in an airtight container. This will protect your toothbrush from drops of germy water after handwashing, as well as airborne germs from flushing the toilet. 



  • Keep the bristles of your toothbrush covered during travel to prevent it from picking up any germs from other objects in your bathroom kit. 
  • Once you arrive at your destination, unpack your toothbrush and rinse it. If there is a spare cup available, stand your toothbrush upright and place it in a cabinet if you can. If not, lay it flat on a tissue or towel so it does not touch the countertop or sit in a puddle of water.


How to Keep Your Toothbrush Clean

  • Never share toothbrushes. This can spread germs and lead to illness.
  • Rinse your toothbrush with hot water after brushing. Rinse thoroughly, or until the water runs clear. This will get rid of toothpaste residue, plaque, and germs.
  • Store your toothbrush properly. Rinsing coupled with proper toothbrush storage is the number one way to prevent the accumulation of germs.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three months, or as soon as it becomes worn. Bent and fractured bristles create secret places for bacteria to hide and multiply. 
  • Swap out toothbrushes after an illness. Brushing your teeth is one way to help you feel human when you are not feeling well. However, once you feel better, we suggest replacing your toothbrush just in case some of those germs stowed away on the bristles. 


Get Squeaky-Clean Teeth at Hicks Dental

Maintaining proper toothbrush storage and cleanliness will help you keep your teeth clean, and with twice-yearly cleanings from our dental hygienists, your teeth will be in tip-top shape! Finding a dentist you like and trust is an important part of helping you maintain good oral health. 

At Hicks Dental Group, our dentists, hygienists, and support staff are all welcoming and friendly. We can help you keep your mouth healthy and achieve the smile of your dreams. Contact us today to make an appointment.




Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (4/24/24). Photo by Alex Padurariu on Unsplash.