Brushing is important for your family's oral health, but it’s also important to keep the toothbrushes clean. Your child may rinse his toothbrush briefly under water when he's done brushing, and you might even scrub yours with your fingers to clean it. But, according to the American Dental Association, hundreds of types of microorganisms live in the oral cavity, and some of these are transferred to your toothbrush while brushing. A quick rinse isn't going to get rid of the bacteria. While there’s no hard evidence that this bacteria can lead to adverse health effects, if you want to be sure you and your children are brushing with clean toothbrushes, sterilize them periodically.
Fill a bowl with antibacterial mouthwash. Place the toothbrush in the bowl upside down so the bristles are covered by the mouthwash. Let it soak for 30 seconds, then rinse under running water.
Place the toothbrush on the top rack or in the silverware compartment in the dishwasher. Run the toothbrush through a complete cleaning cycle with or without other dishes and dishwasher soap. Rinse it under running water after the cycle is finished.
Mix 1 cup of water and 2 teaspoons of baking soda into a bowl. Stick the toothbrush into the solution and soak it for a few minutes. Rinse after soaking.
Put the toothbrush on a microwave-safe plate and put it in the microwave. Set the microwave to high power for 5 minutes.
Place the toothbrush in a clean bowl with white vinegar. Let it soak overnight, then rinse it the next day.
Dissolve a denture cleansing tablet in a bowl of water. Soak the toothbrush in the solution overnight. Rinse it off under running water after soaking.