The following recommendations for general toothbrush care are according to the American Dental Association and the Council on Scientific Affairs:
#1: Never Share Your Toothbrush: Your toothbrush harbors germs from your mouth and, therefore, sharing it with another person could potentially put them at risk for illness or infection as a result of the exchange of germs and bodily fluids. This can be a serious concern for persons with compromised immune systems or existing infectious diseases.
#2: Rinse Your Brush: Thoroughly rinse your toothbrush with hot tap water after each use to remove toothpaste, bacteria, plaque, and food debris. Store your brush in an upright position and allow to air-dry. With more than one brush, make sure to store each brush in a separate holder, or keep them separated to prevent cross-contamination.
#3: Do Not Cover: Do not cover your toothbrush when storing. Moist, dark environments promote the growth of microorganisms.
#4: Replace Your Toothbrush: It is recommended that you replace your toothbrush at least every 3 to 4 months. Children’s toothbrushes often need replacing more frequently, especially if your child chews on the bristles. Once the bristles become frayed or worn the toothbrush is no longer as effective.