Many people don’t pay enough attention to their toothbrush, but your toothbrush deserves your respect! After all, it keeps your teeth clean, your gums healthy and your smile radiant.
Storing your toothbrush correctly plays a critical role in your dental and periodontal hygiene.
Let’s dive into proper toothbrush storage to keep your toothbrush in its best state!
Why do you need to store your toothbrush properly?
Most of us don’t obsess over the millions of germs floating on the dust and water particles in the air around us. We know that they exist in abundance, but that’s what our immune system is for, right?
Yes, germs are all around us, but have you ever thought about how much bacteria your exposed toothbrush might be harboring?
Prepare for this very unpleasant fact… If you have a toilet in your bathroom (as most of us do), there is an explosion of airborne germs every time you flush! These can easily find their way onto the bristles of your toothbrush if it’s sitting out in the open. About 100 million bacteria can lurk on an uncovered toothbrush (Biolase).
Transferring bacteria to your mouth can lead to a buildup of bacteria in and around your gums, which can progress into a number of health complications, including gum disease!
Many people store their toothbrush safely in their medicine cabinet or a drawer for this very reason.
What is the best toothbrush storage system?
The truth is, if your toothbrush is not sitting on top of your toilet, on your countertop or any other high traffic area, it’s probably in a relatively safe place.
The world is full of germs, so no matter where your toothbrush lives, it’s not going to be completely sterilized. Even the inside of your medicine cabinet has germs living in it, so you don’t have to obsess over the cleanliness of every space.
There’s a phenomenon called ‘toilet plume’, which is a cloud of microscopic particles that plume into the air every time you flush your toilet. We do highly recommend that you keep some distance between your toilet bowl and your toothbrush—and after learning these facts, why would you not want to keep your toothbrush hidden?!
The closer your toothbrush is to your toilet, the closer it will be to the cloud of germs when flushing.
Fortunately, according to the American Dental Association, even toilet plumes aren’t something you should lose sleep over and these probably won’t affect your health too much. It’s just a gross fact to think about!
Toothbrush storage ideas
The best toothbrush storage location is a space where you can keep your toothbrush upright so it can dry out fairly quickly. A cup or toothbrush holder with a toothbrush lid will give each toothbrush enough air space to dry without contaminating each other.
How long does it take for a toothbrush to dry?
Knowing how long it takes your toothbrush to dry will help you store it in a toothbrush storage box safely. You can let your toothbrush sit in the open air for 30 minutes, then check that the bristles are dry before you put it away.
You can use a clean paper towel to quickly dry a toothbrush before storing it in an airtight container, if you want. We know that it isn’t practical for most people to wait 30 minutes before storing their toothbrush, so if you aren’t able to do this, the best way to store it is in a cup or holder that allows it to be upright, with a toothbrush cover over the bristles.
How to store your toothbrush for travel
The best way to store a toothbrush for travel is to use a travel toothbrush case, or leave your regular toothbrush at home and purchase a new toothbrush for your journey. Leave the new toothbrush stored in its packaging until you arrive at your destination, and throw it away when you are done with your trip.
You may not want to keep buying toothbrushes if you are hopping between destinations. In this case, use a toothbrush storage case to carry it with you. Just make sure you completely dry your toothbrush before placing it in a toothbrush storage box.
The Bottom Line
At PHC, we’re passionate about helping our patients achieve the best possible health! Toothbrush care isn’t complex; all it takes is some extra consideration to ensure that your toothbrush is stored dry or has time to dry between brushings. Your toothbrush has everything to do with your dental health and gum health, so it’s important to care for it properly!
Still have questions about toothbrush storage?
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions! We love to hear from you. We’re here to guide you through your treatment process, from your very first visit, to your last appointment.