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A 59-year-old male asked:

doesn't all bacteria die from a toothbrush that is thoroughly cleaned with water after use and then left to dry for 15 minutes or so?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gary Sandler
Dentistry 54 years experience
No: Only sterilization can kill all bacteria. There are good and bad bacteria. There is rarely any real need to worry about what you are questioning. If you do have concerns, discuss them with your own dentist who would be familiar with your medical and dental history and your specific circumstances.
Dr. Duane Keller
Dentistry 45 years experience
Probably Not: Bacteria in the mouth live in a community called a biofilm that is very difficult to kill. You will probably need something stronger to kill the bacteria. Hydrogen peroxide is one good option as it can penetrate the biofilm and help control the bacteria.

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Last updated Mar 25, 2013
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