Prevention and control of infection

Brush bus

Standard 3(a)

Toothbrush storage systems comply with best practice in the prevention of cross-contamination.


Toothbrushes are a potential source of infection.


  • Toothbrushes are stored in appropriate storage systems or individual ventilated holders.
  • Storage systems enable brushes to stand in the upright position.
  • Storage systems allow sufficient distance between toothbrushes to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Storage systems display symbols corresponding with those on the toothbrushes to allow individual identification.
  • Storage systems which do not have covers are stored within a designated trolley or in a clean, dry cupboard.
  • Storage systems in toilet areas must have manufacturers’ covers and be stored at adult height or in a suitable trolley.

Statement 3(b)

Appropriate cleaning procedures are in place to ensure that cross-infection risks are minimised.


Toothbrushes are a potential source of infection. Good cleaning practice should be an integral part of childcare in the nursery and school setting.


  • Manufacturers’ guidelines are followed when cleaning and maintaining storage systems, including dishwasher cleaning, where appropriate.
  • Dedicated household gloves should be worn when cleaning storage systems and sinks. All cuts, abrasions and breaks in the skin are covered with a waterproof dressing before toothbrushing and cleaning is carried out.
  • Storage systems, trolleys and storage areas are cleaned, rinsed and dried at least once a week (more if soiled) by nursery/primary staff using warm water and household detergent.
  • Care is taken to ensure that toothbrushes do not cross-contaminate when being removed from or replaced in storage systems.
  • To avoid contamination via spray, the storage system should not be placed directly beside the children while toothbrushing takes place.
  • Storage systems are replaced if cracks, scratches or rough surfaces develop.
  • Any toothbrushes dropped onto the floor must be discarded.
  • Toothbrushes must not be soaked in bleach or other cleaner/disinfectant. Tubes of toothpaste can be cleaned with a damp tissue.