You wouldn't use a toilet brush on your teeth, would you?

Ever considered that your toothbrush could be making you sick, or that it could be contributing to a potential dog breath problem?

Unhygienic man brushing teeth with toilet brush

Brushing regularly is the biggest part of most people’s oral care routine. We associate brushing with feeling clean and fresh, but is your toothbrush really that clean? They go in and out of our mouths twice a day and are at risk of contamination from mould, oral bacteria and even tiny bits of poop (yes, really). Yet they’re rarely disinfected, often kept in a group and to cap it off the average UK male keeps his for 6 months without changing it.

At a time when the world is more focused than ever on hygiene and avoiding contact with germs, we’ve put together a simple set of guidelines to help you keep your toothbrush genuinely clean and minimise any toothbrush-related sickness.

Best way to store toothbrushes

Ever heard of a toilet plume? It’s a spray of tiny aerosol particles launched out of the toilet when it’s flushed. It can contain tiny bits of fecal matter, potentially including pathogens like Norovirus or Coronavirus and if the lid isn’t down it can contaminate the air and surfaces in a 6ft radius. Bottom line, keep your toothbrush away from the toilet!

As well as maintaining distance from the loo, brushes need to be stored upright in the air so water can drain away from the bristles. Most of the germs it attracts are anaerobic so will die with prolonged exposure to the air. Much like people, your toothbrushes should also be distanced from each other so no more keeping them all together in a cup please.

Before and after brushing

In keeping with distancing mentioned above, sharing toothbrushes is a big no no. Even if it’s been kept in a clean environment make sure to give it a quick rinse under the tap before use and a thorough wash afterwards. If you have an electric toothbrush, be sure to remove the head of the brush and make sure you rinse out the interior as this is a prime location for bacteria to collect and mould to grow.

When and how to disinfect a toothbrush

Disinfection is a key part of toothbrush care and you should be doing it roughly once a week or immediately if you drop it on the floor or in your sink.

You may be tempted to use boiling water or even stick it in the dishwasher, but we’d advise against this as it could damage the bristles. Instead submerge your brush (or brush head if you’ve gone electric) in a disinfectant solution. Ideally your disinfectant will be made up using a mouthwash like our own MGS Mouthwash Tablets which are part of our Dr Denti Home Use range.

Dr Denti Mouthwash Tablets - Great for disinfecting toothbrushes


We realise travel is a bit of a dream at the moment but when you do get the luxury of staying away from home, be sure to keep your toothbrush in a clean case and give it a good wash before use. Our MGS Mouthwash Tablets come in a handy travel tube so you can easily disinfect both toothbrush and case when you arrive at your destination.

Also, we’ve all heard the old horror story about hotel maids scrubbing any leftover brown crusty bits off the toilet bowl with the guest’s toothbrush. Best not take any risks, don’t leave the brush in the bathroom at your hotel next time!

When to replace your toothbrush

The general rule of thumb is to get a new toothbrush (or toothbrush head) every 3 months. But if you can see visible wearing, broken/loose bristles or you’ve recently suffered an illness you should change the toothbrush out immediately for a fresh one.

Following our simple guidelines is a great way to reduce the risk of catching an illness from your toothbrush and regular brush replacement is important for maintaining a beautiful smile. Take care and we’ll be back soon with another dental update for you.