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 –  Brushing your teeth daily is an important part of promoting healthy teeth and gums, as toothbrushes remove the plaque that hardens into tartar, promotes tooth decay and contributes to gum disease. Although toothbrushes are an important part of oral care, many people have concerns about the presence of germs on their brushes. If you're among them, drugstore.com can help you to keep your toothbrush sanitary. We stock many toothbrush sanitizers to help you care for and clean your brush.
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Do You Need to Sanitize Your Toothbrush?

The human mouth is home to many microorganisms, some of which are harmful and can cause illnesses. When you brush, you remove some of these bacteria that have mixed with food debris from the surfaces of your teeth. Rinsing your toothbrush with water removes the toothpaste and solid particles of debris from your brush, but bacteria can still linger on the surface of the bristles and head. Although most of these bacteria are not likely to make you sick, many people would prefer to sanitize their toothbrushes to reduce germs, especially if they are recovering from an illness or have a weakened immune system.

How Do Toothbrush Sanitizers Work?

Toothbrush sanitizers are devices that fight germs in order to help make toothbrushes more hygienic. There are two ways that sanitizers can work. Some sanitizers heat the bristles of the brush to high temperatures that many common microbes cannot withstand. Others use ultraviolet or UV energy, an intense form of light radiation, to kill germs. Both types of toothbrush sanitizers require some form of power for operation. Often, a disposable or rechargeable battery is used as a power source.

What Are Water Flossers?

Water flossers are also available to simplify flossing. These battery-operated or electrical devices shoot pressurized streams of water through a small head to rinse the areas between the teeth and along the gums. The force of the water can dislodge debris when the water flosser is used correctly. Your orthodontist or dental hygienist may recommend that you use a specific type of flosser, interdental cleaner or water flosser to ensure best results.

Styles of Toothbrush Sanitizers

There are many different types of toothbrush sanitizers available to meet your dental needs. Which type is right for you will depend upon your lifestyle and your personal preferences. Some sanitizers are small clip-on covers that fit over the bristles. Often times, these sanitizers are used for only a limited period of time and then are thrown away once their batteries become exhausted. Other sanitizers are designed for use again and again. These types sometimes double as toothbrush holders and keep brushes neatly stored between uses while fighting germs. Others function as cases and can be used while traveling or at home.

Important Information About Toothbrush Sanitizers

In order for a toothbrush sanitizer to work effectively, it must be used properly. This makes it important that you carefully read the instructions that come with your toothbrush sanitizer, use it as directed and perform any maintenance that is recommended by the manufacturer. While toothbrush sanitizers are made to fight germs, they should not be used to extend the lives of brushes. Even if you use a sanitizer, experts recommend that you still throw your toothbrush away every 3 to 4 months, as the bristles can become misshapen and worn, reducing the effectiveness of the brush. It is also not a good idea to share your toothbrush with anyone else even if you have a sanitizer available for cleaning.

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