With the recent increase in illnesses this fall, several patients have asked me if they need to throw away their toothbrushes after every illness. This helpful article outlines several ways to go about washing and sterilizing toothbrushes. However, as the article points out the safest way to ensure your toothbrush is not harboring germs is to replace it after every illness and at least as often as every 3 months.
Toothbrushes should be stored in an upright position. Bathroom toothbrush caddies make this easy, but make sure that there is enough room between toothbrushes so that their bristles are not touching. Also, cleaning out the bottom of these caddies should be part of your bathroom cleaning activity. This task is easier if you choose ones that are dishwasher safe.
It is a good idea to keep extra toothbrushes on hand to be able to quickly replace a toothbrush after illness.