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Dental Hygiene

Cleaning Tooth Brushes

01/20/2011

Question:

Hi - what is the best way for our parents to clean their child`s toothbrushes? We are a child care center & someone mentioned that the brushes could be cleaned in the dishwasher. Your guidance please. Thank you

Answer:

Hello, this is a great question. I would avoid this technique for cleaning brushes due to the tightness of the tufts of bristles. These tufts or stacks of bristles would not rinse thoroughly and residual detergent would be commonplace. Dishwashing detergents are not meant to be ingested, so it is not a safe practice. Additionally, the heat in most dishwashers is not well regulated and it may soften or modify the bristles/handle in such a way to harbor bacteria.

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Response by:

Susan   Bauchmoyer, RDH, EFDA,  MS Susan Bauchmoyer, RDH, EFDA, MS
Associate Professor – Clinical, Clinic Director
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University