When embarking on yet another adventure that involves leaving the convenience of your home domain, we are usually forced to consider what items to put into our toiletry bag. It can be such a nuisance to figure our which items to keep in the toiletry bag to make it simple to just grab and go and which items you should bring from their home docking stations.

Do you bring that special facial cleanser or can you do without it for a few days? Will the answer to this question about the contents of your toiletry bag change if you are going on a camping trip versus a hotel hoping trip versus a week-long trip at just one venue? Probably.

I am here to tell you (and please let me know that you agree) that the decision to compromise on bringing a toothbrush is not really a decision at all. It will definitely hit the bag list in one form or another.

The Necessity Of A Toothbrush

You made the right decision. Trained well during childhood, you know that the mouth carries bacteria (good and bad) extremely well. We brush our teeth to minimize our risk of gum disease, cavities, and tooth decay. It’s really just that simple. Keeping it clean is really the only an advisable option.

Does the mouth really carry more germs than the anus? Maybe. Is the human mouth dirtier than that of your beloved canine? Some say. Does it really matter? Nope. These questions lead to many debates (true), but fact or fiction, let’s just brush our teeth.

Makes The Mouth Happy

Disclaimer – I do not like to brush my teeth and I do not like to floss. It is a time-consuming annoying daily gesture that I just do. However, when this small six minute task (that’s just how long it takes me) is complete, I feel like I just took a shower. So fresh and so clean.

What makes it feel even better is that first brushing after spending hours on a plane asleep after chomping down the handful of salty airline peanuts, or my beloved two free Biscoff cookies, standing on a stuffy plane with stinky people (I may be one of them) and then wandering lost to find a ride share before finally getting to my destination.

That first brush just about cleanses my soul.

The Toothbrush At Home Versus The Road

I think that we already decided that you will bring a tooth brush. At home, I am an Oral-B electric girl all the way. It stays plugged into the wall and docked in place throughout the day.

You do not need any type of sanitation system to keep your brush clean and dry at home. Keeping it dry just sufficiently also keeps the brush clean. Yes, we are advised to change our the brush every three to four months, but that is not a cleanliness rule. It is an effectiveness goal.

On the road, we have certain challenges to keep in mind. You are more likely to get sick during your travels than you are while at home. You do not want to make a bad situation worse by continuing to use a germy toothbrush while you are traveling.

Quick fact – germs tend to stay alive on your toothbrush from a few hours to a few days.

Allowing the brush to dry completely between uses minimizes the spreading of germs effect. This is easily handled at home by allowing the brush to dry while standing upright. This means not storing it with a cap or it laying down in your travel bag.

Keeping Your Toothbrush Clean While In A Travel Bag

The simplest way to keep your toothbrush clean on the road is not the most sustainable manner of handling the situation. Buy a new toothbrush. Do not even pack one. Just grab a toothbrush at the airport or drugstore when you get to your destination. I am not a big fan of this idea because it seems quite wasteful. I like to make things last. This being said, my forgetfulness has resulted in many new brushes in my travels. If you’re staying at a hotel, ask the desk clerk for a courtesy brush. At least you may get something for free.

Another option is to just do what you’ve probably been accustomed to doing. Use that same old brush that has been sitting in your ready-to-go toiletry bag for the past decade and call it a day. This is not the recommended course of action, but you’re still alive right? This is just a trivial consideration and not something that you need to worry yourself about for ten to twenty days of your precious year. I can respect that decision. I just cannot agree that it the better option for most of us.

The high tech option is always awaiting us these days. Why not go for gold and keep the toothbrush sanitized? There are so many products on the market today that helps the germaphobe travelers. If this is you (and I like to think of us more as the health conscious travelers because “germaphobe” has unfriendly connotations), then take advantage of some convenient toothbrush sanitizers.

What Should You Buy

You have a three options:

1. Free – The free toothbrush that is already tucked away in your toiletry bag and ready to go. You can even put a cheap small plastic cap on it.

2. Unsustainable – Grab a bag of new brushes that you can reach into on your way our the door. This option avoids you having to spend too much at an airport or waste previous destination time stopping at a drugstore.

3. High Tech – This third option is about next level sustainable cleanliness. Remember the bacteria we discussed earlier. These portable UV toothbrush sanitizers boast eliminating 99.99% of the bacteria so you can rest assured that you will not be putting an unclean germ laced brush in your mouth again.


What’ll it be?


  1. “Use that same old brush that has been sitting in your ready-to-go toiletry bag for the past decade and call it a day. ”

    That made me laugh. I have one of those, but it is for backup only for those rare occasions I forget my Sonicare!

    I really hate it when I forget my Sonicare. 😉

    I did not know there were portable UV cleaners. My son has one for his own higher-tech Sonicare but it’s not particularly portable.

    Thanks for the info, really enjoyed the post!

  2. If I travel, I’d probably take the santitizer route. They seem to be cost-effective and if they last, they’re well worth the investment. I can’t go any longer than twelve hours without brushing my teeth, so I’m investing in one of these before my next vacation.

  3. Very interesting read about a toothbrush. I never look at it this way at all. I travel quite often and never give thought traveling with a germ toothbrush. I just make sure I pack one. Usually, I get a pack of 4 so I can easily grab one when packing. Just return from a trip, so I better throw out the one in my bag now.

  4. I disinfect my toothbrush using hydrogen peroxide 3% when I’m at home. The problem is when I travel -and I do travel very often, it’s a need I can’t defeat- I have to carry a bottle with me. I didn’t know the existence of a product like this!! It’s small, not heave, not expensive : it’s perfect! Thank you Rachel!

    1. Not too long ago, I think that the you had to purchase non-portable sanitizers if you wanted to use UV. Now you can take it on the road. Also, I live the hydro/per option. Easy simple hack!

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