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Whatever You Do, Don't Store Your Toothbrush Here

The do's and don'ts of storing your toothbrush, according to experts.

McKenzie Dillon Writer
McKenzie, a Certified Sleep Science Coach and proclaimed mattress expert, has been writing sleep content in the wellness space for over four years. After earning her certification from the Spencer Institute and dedicating hundreds of hours to sleep research, she has extensive knowledge on the topic and how to improve your quality of rest. Having more experience with lying on mattresses than most, McKenzie has reviewed over 150 beds and a variety of different sleep products including pillows, mattress toppers and sheets. McKenzie has also been a guest on multiple radio shows including WGN Chicago as a sleep expert and contributed sleep advice to over 50 different websites.
Expertise Certified Sleep Science Coach, Certified Stress Management Coach, Bachelor of English.
McKenzie Dillon
2 min read
a black toothbrush on a bathroom counter next to a toothpaste tube.

Make sure you store your toothbrush upright in your bathroom. 

mrs/Getty Images

There are a few general rules you should follow when brushing your teeth, and we're reminded of them every dentist visit. But nobody ever tells you where you should keep your toothbrush in between cleanings. There seems to be a debate online about where the best place to keep it is -- inside a cabinet, or definitely not inside a cabinet -- although professionals seem to agree on a few teeth hygiene no-nos. 

We get into the great toothbrush debate below, and offer insights on the best and worst places to store your toothbrush. 

Worst places to keep your toothbrush

Drawer or medicine cabinet

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A quick Google search on my end brings up a result claiming you should store your toothbrush in a cabinet below the sink or medicine cabinet, but the American Dental Association recommends you keep your toothbrush in the open air to prevent microbial growth. 

Next to your toilet

While you should leave your toothbrush on your bathroom counter, keep it away from your toilet's vicinity. Your toothbrush is more likely to be exposed to fecal bacteria that's splashed into the air when you flush your toilet. 

Covered with a cap

Leaving a cap, paper towel or plastic bag over your toothbrush can promote the growth of bacteria. Dangerous microorganisms thrive in moist, wet environments, so it's important to let your toothbrush properly air dry. That way, it'll be clean the next time you go to brush your teeth. 

How to care for your toothbrush  

You put your toothbrush in your mouth every day, so cleanliness is key. When storing your toothbrush, here are general guidelines, according to the ADA, to keep a hygienic toothbrush: 

  • Store it in an upright position
  • Leave your toothbrush in the open air to dry 
  • Change out your toothbrush or its bristles every three to four months (more if the bristles are visibly worn)

For more teeth care tips, learn when you should be flossing and why you shouldn't rinse with water after brushing.  

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.