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Here are some suggestions for cleaning your toothbrush and keeping it clean.

Things You'll Need:

* Toothbrush
* Dishwasher (optional)
* Vinegar (optional)
* Bleach (optional)
* Mouthwash (optional)
* UV toothbrush cleaner (optional)
* Hydrogen peroxide (optional)
* NOTE: the item you need depends on the method of cleaning you choose! 

Step 1

Method #1 for Cleaning Your Toothbrush: Wash It

1. To deep clean your toothbrush, occasionally run it though the dishwasher. Be sure to place it on the top rack, so the toothbrush doesn't melt or bend due to the heat.

2. A less drastic method is to simply wash your toothbrush before and after every use by holding it under hot running water, and rubbing your thumb over it forcefully for five or ten seconds. Of course, be sure to wash your hands before using this method!

Step 2

Method #2 for Cleaning Your Toothbrush: Swish It

Effective toothbrush cleaning often involves swishing your toothbrush in various liquids. Some of the most common solutions for cleaning your toothbrush by swishing include the following:

1. Listerine, or another mouthwash that contains alcohol. Although some people opt to keep their toothbrush in Listerine except when they're actually using it, swishing your toothbrush in mouthwash for thirty seconds, prior to use, is sufficient.

2. Hydrogen Peroxide. Place 1 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide in 1 cup of water, and swish your toothbrush in it prior to use. If you don't like the taste of hydrogen peroxide, you may rinse your toothbrush with clean water prior to use, but if you opt not to rinse the peroxide mixture off before brushing your teeth, in addition to disinfecting your toothbrush, the hydrogen peroxide will help whiten your teeth.

3. Bleach. Place the toothbrush in a cup with one part water and one part bleach - just enough to cover the bristles of the toothbrush. Swish it around for thirty seconds, then rinse. Be careful not to splash any bleach on your clothing or in your eyes, and be sure to rinse out the cup thoroughly immediately after use so that no one accidentally drinks the bleach mixture. Also, be sure to rinse off the bleach mixture prior to using the toothbrush.

Step 3

Method #3 for Cleaning Your Toothbrush: Soak It

Some people choose to soak their toothbrush anytime they are not using it. Unfortunately, many of those same people use the same soaking solution several days in a row, which can actually hurt, rather than help the problem. A solution is to soak your toothbrush in undiluted vinegar overnight, once every two weeks. The vinegar kills the majority of mold, germs and bacteria.

For a quick soak method, put your toothbrush in a clean mug and cover the bristles of the toothbrush with boiling water. Keep the toothbrush in the boiling water for three minutes and then use as usual.

Step 4

Method #4 for Cleaning Your Toothbrush: Rotate It

Some people recommend allowing a toothbrush to dry thoroughly before using it again. Therefore, it is helpful to have at least two toothbrushes. Alternate between the two each time your brush your teeth. You might want to get into the habit of using a specific toothbrush in the morning and another one in the evening so you don't have to remember which toothbrush you last used. If you typically brush three times per day, three toothbrushes would work well for this method.

Step 5

Method #5 for Cleaning Your Toothbrush: Separate It

The family toothbrush holder that holds multiple toothbrushes is really not a good idea, as toothbrushes kept together in the same container often end up touching, which can result in the spread of germs. Keep your toothbrushes in separate containers to avoid cross contamination.

Step 6

Method #6 for Cleaning your Toothbrush: Cover It

The bathroom is full of nasty germs. Because of that, some people choose to put a toothbrush protector over their toothbrush, or keep their toothbrush in the medicine cabinet. However, this method can cause problems if you cover the toothbrush before it has a chance to dry thoroughly. Using a toothbrush cover with holes helps the toothbrush to air out if by chance it was not completely dry before covering.

An easier method to help avoid airborne contaminants landing on your toothbrush may be to be conscious of things such as keeping your toothbrush on the sink counter that is as far away from the toilet as possible, and being sure to close the toilet lid before flushing the toilet.

Step 7

Method #7 for Cleaning Your Toothbrush: Go High Tech

If the above solutions sound too complicated, and you'd prefer to use a no muss no fuss method of cleaning your toothbrush, head to your local drug or discount store and pick up a UV toothbrush cleaner for about $20.

Step 8

Method #8 for Cleaning Your Toothbrush: Replace It

No matter how much care you put into cleaning your toothbrush, most dentists recommend replacing your toothbrush every three or four months, or when it shows sign of excessive wear, such as bent bristles. It is also a good idea to replace your toothbrush after any type of illness


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