Bacteria in the bathroom is a given. Yet that’s where we spend the majority of our effort cleaning our bodies and brushing our teeth. For years, we have heard reports that ultraviolet light can kill up to 99% of bacteria, manufacturers are marketing UV toothbrush sanitizers for anywhere between $5 to $500. Dr. Stephen Hill weighs in on whether these devices are worth the expense.
It is true that UV light does kill bacteria, but with so many consumer products on the market, it is hard to tell which ones legitimately and appropriately apply UV to effectively eliminate bacteria and which ones simply look pretty.
Dr. Hill suggest that there are other ways to sanitize your toothbrush without investing in one of these sleek, expensive UV appliances.
- One of the simplest and most effective ways to sanitize your toothbrush is to store it upside down in a small cup of ADA approved mouthwash. After brushing, rinse the toothbrush thoroughly before storing.
- Another option is to microwave the toothbrush for 10-20 seconds. The microwaves that heat food in the microwave will kill the bacteria. However, be careful not to microwave it too long to prevent melting the plastic, and make sure to cool it before brushing your teeth to prevent injury to your gums.
- Run your toothbrush through a sanitize cycle the dishwasher. It works for dishes, it will work for toothbrushes too!
- You can dip your bristles in boiling water for a minute or two. Again, be sure to cool your toothbrush by running it under cool water or refrigerating before you use it on your teeth and gums.
At the end of the day, any of these options can effectively eliminate bacteria on your toothbrush, so the choice is up to you. The American Dental Association has not endorsed any toothbrush sanitizing products, and instead, recommends rinsing your toothbrush after brushing and replacing it every four to six months.
For more information about dental hygiene, or to schedule a professional cleaning, contact our office at 469.656.4516.