Brushing the teeth is considered the most important step in ensuring oral health. However, according to Dr. Kami Hoss, most people forget to disinfect their toothbrushes. This step is crucial as a brush can be exposed to germs and dirt even when covered. Here is an easy guide to disinfecting a toothbrush.

Washing: Be sure to wash hands before brushing the teeth. After brushing, clean the brush to make sure that no toothpaste or debris remains on the bristles. Don’t forget to clean the handle and the back.

Soaking: Dental professionals like Dr. Kami Hoss suggest soaking toothbrushes overnight in mouthwash, baking soda, or hydrogen peroxide. These cleaning agents will keep dirt from building up and will also eliminate the bacteria in the toothbrush. Putting one to two teaspoons of one of these solutions in a cup of water is enough.

Drying: When it comes to drying toothbrushes, it’s important to keep them away from each other. Sometimes it’s better to leave them to air dry without a cover. It’s also better to wash and dry the toothbrush covers. Experts suggest keeping brushes as far away from the toilet as possible. When storing them in a cup or a holder, it’s important to keep the brush heads inches apart.

Dentists advise individuals to replace their toothbrush when it softens or shows signs of fraying. In case someone at home gets the flu or other viruses, it’s important to keep their toothbrush away to prevent others from sickness. It’s also best to dispose of contaminated brushes.

Kami Hoss, MS, DDS, is the CEO of The Super Dentists, the largest pediatric dentistry and orthodontic practice in San Diego. Dr. Hoss is also the chief executive of Acceledontics and Howard Healthcare Academy. Follow this blog for more on dental health.