Have you ever looked at your toothbrush under a microscope?
I have, and it’s pretty freaky when you see all the little goobers that are clinging to the bristles.
A toothbrush is a great place for thug bugs to hang out, just waiting for another chance to recolonize your mouth.
To stop our toothbrush from becoming a petri dish, we simply need to understand the environment that these thug bugs need in order to thrive.
By removing one or more of these conditions, we can rest easy with the knowledge that our toothbrushes are not being used as thug bug nurseries.
Fortunately, it’s really simple to keep our toothbrush free from thug bugs without having to spend any money on those newfangled toothbrush sanitizers.
Getting to know thug bugs…
The bacteria implicated with gum disease are called ‘gram negative bacteria’.
They are anaerobic, which simply means that they thrive in low-oxygen environments.
If we had to describe the perfect space for thug bugs, it would be a warm, dark, moist, low-oxygen environment. This is why thug bugs grow so well in oral gum pockets.
Knowing this, we can easily stop our toothbrush from being a thug bug sanctuary. All we need to do is remove one or more of the conditions that they require.
Here are three simple strategies you can use to keep your toothbrush germ-free.
1. Let your toothbrush fully dry out between brushings
In order to allow your toothbrush to fully dry out before you use it again, you need to have more than one brush and rotate through them during the week.
When we have friends come for a visit, we’re often asked the question, “Why do you guys have so many toothbrushes in your bathroom?”
We each keep several of our awesome Bass brushes in the bathroom, which means we can each use our own brush A on Monday, brush B on Tuesday, then circle back to brush A on Wednesday, etc.
This allows each brush to fully dry out before it’s used again. Since thug bugs require a moist environment, allowing the brush to dry fully helps to prevent them from living on your brush.
2. Give your brush a sunbath
Sunlight is a powerful cleaner/disinfectant.
Leaving your brush on a sunny windowsill for the day will allow it to fully dry and it will also take advantage of the disinfecting power of natural sunlight.
The best part about this strategy is that it’s free. So, you don’t have to purchase one of those fancy ‘brush sanitizers’ and wonder whether it’s doing its job to clean your brush.
3. Soak the bristles in hydrogen peroxide overnight
For anyone who doesn’t have a sunny windowsill and who only has one toothbrush, here’s a third option to keep it free from thug bugs.
Just add some peroxide (3% is fine) into a small glass and put the brush head (bristles down) into the peroxide overnight.
Peroxide is a very oxygen-rich environment. So, it does a very good job at robbing these low-oxygen-environment-loving thug bugs of a major condition that they need in order to survive.
When you’re ready to use your brush, simply remove it from the peroxide, give it a quick rinse with water, and you’re all set to begin your brushing routine.
But never try to clean it in the dishwasher or microwave…
One more note, never try to clean your toothbrush by putting it in the dishwasher or microwave.
The high temperatures will damage the brush and you may also wind up damaging your dishwasher and/or microwave.