Most people have no clue how much gross stuff is hiding on your toothbrush.

The one item is supposed to clean your teeth and keep them safe from plaque and other harmful things might have substances on it that can cause several mouth diseases. But there are ways to keep your toothbrush clean from all of these things. Some of these things include:

Clean your brush. You should thoroughly rinse toothbrushes with potable tap water after brushing to remove any remaining toothpaste and debris, also it’s recommended that you soak your toothbrushes in an antibacterial mouth rinse.

Store the brush properly. Leave your toothbrush in an upright position and allow it to air dry. Don’t store the brush in a closed container because a damp environment is more conducive to the growth of microorganisms. If more than one brush is stored in an area, keep them separate to prevent cross-contamination.

Buy a new brush often. Toothbrushes should be replaced at least every three to four months or when bristles become frayed and worn, whichever comes first.

Don’t share! This seems like a no-brainer, but a large proportion of spouses admit to sharing toothbrushes, meaning that they are also sharing the bacteria on those brushes.

Get a new brush if you’ve been sick. Any illness that can be transmitted through body fluids should warrant separation of the toothbrush of the infected individual, if it’s economically feasible, replacement of the toothbrush after the illness.

Wash, wash, wash! Wash your hands after using the toilet and prior to using your toothbrush.