An electric toothbrush is a significant investment, 50-100x’s more than what a simple plastic toothbrush costs. Therefore, it is a wise choice to properly maintain and clean the brush so it can last as long as possible. Like any surface, they can be susceptible to bacterial growth. The brush heads wear out with time and use. Wiping down the brush and regularly replacing the brush heads can solve these issues.
Sometimes, build-up develops on an electric toothbrush and requires cleaning. Some brushes include a UV sanitiser, but the effectiveness of this is debated, and such a sanitiser could not remove dirt and debris, making hand cleaning necessary. The first thing you should do when cleaning your electric toothbrush is to unplug the device and then separate the parts and place them on a clean surface. You should then examine the brush, brush head, and charger for visible mould or bacteria. The areas that do not have air contact and parts that stay moist are most likely to house mould/bacteria.
The brush head can be soaked, the other parts cannot be submerged in water. You can a use a solution of water with peroxide, vinegar, or bleach (in designated proportions and for varying times) to soak the brush head. Wiping before soaking may help the solution work more effectively. The soaking action helps kill and remove mould and bacteria. Once the brush head has soaked, rinse it for 20 seconds and dry with a clean cloth/paper towel. Allow the brush head to air dry.
Cleaning the handle is necessary because the handle is what your hand comes in contact with and has the potential to carry the most bacteria. A mild cleanser or diluted bleach solution on a cotton ball or cotton pad is sufficient for cleaning the handle. Some people use pre-soaked alcohol pads for convenience. One should take extra care to clean the attachment point with the brush head and connecting point with the charger. Washing in a dishwasher is not recommended.
Interestingly, toothpaste actually inhibits bacterial growth on your toothbrush. The alkalinity of toothpaste makes the environment less hospitable for bacteria. If you want to try a toothpaste with additional protection from bacteria, look for a pate with tricolsan/copolymer. Whenever you use the toothbrush, make a habit of rinsing and air-drying the brush. To store your electric toothbrush, keep it upright, in a cool & dry place, and away from direct sunlight.
Replacing brush heads is crucial for proper brushing. Worn out, old bristles are less effective in removing plaque and extricating particles. Replacement is recommended every three months. If the bristles are worn or faded, it is reasonable to replace the head sooner. A good battery should last about a week. If it dies much sooner, you may find it necessary to replace the battery or entire brush, depending on the cost.
Everyone who buys an electric toothbrush wants to get the most mileage possible out of the brush, while still using it in a safe, healthy way. Cleaning, to inhibit the growth of mould and bacteria, is a necessary part of maintaining an electric toothbrush. The investment and use of an electric toothbrush may , in conjunction with other dental care habits, improve oral health and wellbeing, making it money well spent for many people. Find a review of top-scoring electric toothbrushes here to ease the process of choosing which brush is best for you.