Why A Toothbrush Sanitizer Is The New Hygiene Must Have

Why A Toothbrush Sanitizer?

Until I had braces I had never really thought much about my dental hygiene, I had certainly never even entertained the possibility that I might need a toothbrush sanitizer. Don't get me wrong, I brushed and flossed and visited my dentist every six months, but I wasn't fastidious in the way I am now. What changed? Getting braces.

From the very first day of my braces my orthodontist explained that good dental hygiene was crucial to preventing my teeth from getting new cavities. This meant not only brushing, but flossing after every meal. At first I found it not only arduous, but I thought it was simply unnecessary. However, after a few weeks I became accustomed to always having a perfectly clean mouth and the idea of eating and not brushing afterwards became just a little bit gross.

After I finished with my braces my standards slipped a little, but I continued to floss every single day both morning and night, the joy being that with my newly straightened teeth I could actually get the floss easily between my teeth.

I also kept up the habit of carrying my toothbrush everywhere with me in a little case.

It was around this time that I started to think about the hygiene of my toothbrush. Because it was regularly put away damp it would get a little whiffy inside its case if I didn't take it out for a while. This got me thinking.

As did the day when I noticed a housefly land on my toothbrush whilst I was in the bathroom fixing my hair. A few small things like this started to build up and play on my mind until I decided that I needed to do a little research.

Germs and Toothbrushes

It's gross when you think about it. Every day we put our toothbrushes into our mouths and use them to rub food from our teeth. We then put them into a cup or holder, small scraps of food and saliva still attached, and leave them there damp to allow germs to breed. Often other members of the household also use the cup, so that our toothbrush heads touch and share germs and bacteria between them.

Studies have shown that toothbrushes can harbour millions of germs- more than 10,000,000 bacteria on one toothbrush- germs that can actually cause coughs, colds, sore throats and swine flu as well as stomach bugs and gum disease. This is particularly the case with toothbrushes that are stored in a closed environment or in places where the ambient temperature is warm.

Another factor is that many toothbrushes are stored in rooms where there are toilets present. On flushing, toilets can spray a fine aerosol of bacteria into the air. These bacteria can then settle on surfaces and on toothbrushes. We then put those toothbrushes, toilet germs and all into our mouths and brush our teeth to make them "clean"

What Is A Toothbrush Sanitizer?

A toothbrush sanitizer is a device that stores toothbrushes and helps to eliminate the bacteria on them by as much as 99.9%. The devices work in a number of different ways- some use ultra violet light, others use a combination of steam and dry heat. Usually they can hold a number of brushes at a time so that only one sanitizer should be needed for an average family.

Some toothbrush sanitizers are used for a few minutes and then the toothbrushes are removed, others are also suitable to be used as storage devices and can keep toothbrushes germ free until the next use.

Various claims are made for the different type of toothbrush sanitizers on the market. Steam and heat sanitizer manufacturers claim that they product does a more thorough job than UV light ones as some areas are missed by the uv light. UV manufacturers claim their product is superior as it is the same system as that used in hospitals for medical equipment.

Hand Sanitizer on Amazon

Personally, I'm a huge convert to toothbrush sanitizers, but if you aren't at least follow these simple rules:

  • Store your toothbrush where it can dry quickly.
  • Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly before storage
  • Change your toothbrush regularly. The ADA recommends changing toothbrushes every 3-4 months, but bear in mind that bacteria can start to develop on toothbrushes after just one week.
  • If there are people in your household that are immunosuppressed or more vulnerable to illness take additional steps to protect their toothbrush.
  • Try not to store toothbrushes close to a toilet. If they are stored in the same room as a toilet ensure that you close the lid before flushing, every time that you flush.
  • Store toothbrushes so that the heads do not come into contact with each other.

Happy Brushing!

The Thought Of All Those Bacteria On My Toothbrush

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HerbalScience 6 years ago from Naples, Florida

What an interesting hub. While the CDC recommendations of avoiding flu and cold didn't mention this, it shows how everyone can be extra vigilant to avoid germs. Since most families' toothbrushes are kept near each other, it would be very easy to contaminate one another's toothbrush with the flu virus.

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