Toothbrushes Blog

Electric Toothbrush Care and Maintenance

Written by Advice Team on February 8, 2016

Researchers have found that a single toothbrush can be loaded with as many as 10 million germs and bacteria. Wow. Now that should be enough of a sentence for you to make sure you clean your toothbrush on a regular basis and replace the toothbrush head when necessary!

Toothbrushing plays an important everyday role for personal oral hygiene and effective plaque removal. Appropriate toothbrush care and maintenance are also important considerations for sound oral hygiene and these tips will help to keep your manual toothbrush or electric toothbrush clean and safe.

When travelling, put your toothbrush in a travel toothbrush holder, don’t let it roll around in your suitcase or toiletry bag where it can pick up dust, dirt, and bacteria. Conversely don’t store your toothbrush in a toothbrush holder at home, the moist environment can promote bacteria growth. If you must use a covered toothbrush holder frequently, look for one with small holes to let air in. When at home, store your toothbrush upright in a cup or a toothbrush stand that allows it to air dry and has several openings to keep multiple toothbrushes separate.

If you're really concerned about how you should clean your toothbrush, you may consider a sanitiser. There are commercially available ‘toothbrush sanitisers’, but there’s no solid evidence to suggest that they actually keep toothbrushes cleaner than simply rinsing them with water and allowing them to dry. If you want to try a sanitiser, look for one that reduces bacteria and be suspicious of any products that make unrealistic claims. Never try to clean your toothbrush by putting it in the dishwasher or microwave; the high temperatures can damage the brush.

Here at, we recommend that you replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head approximately every 3–4 months, or sooner if the bristles become frayed. Frayed bristles will not clean the teeth and gums adequately and this applies to electric toothbrushes as well as manual toothbrushes, so when the bristles begin to show signs of wear, throw it away and replace with a new toothbrush head. Clinical research shows that a new toothbrush can remove more plaque than one that's worn out, ensuring that your brush is working its hardest to help keep your teeth clean and healthy.