The Ugly Truth About Your Toothbrush
“There (are) hundreds of microorganisms in our mouths every day,” says Gayle McCombs, RDH, MS, associate professor and director of the Dental Hygiene Research Center at Old Dominion University. Even plaque – the stuff you are trying to brush off your teeth – is a type of bacteria.
According to researchers, your toothbrush is home to more than 100 million bacteria including E. coli and staphylococci (Staph) bacteria. But you should not panic because you won’t get an infection from your own toothbrush. Most of these germs already exist in your mouth so you probably won’t get sick from them. However, if others use your toothbrush (or you use someone else’s) germs can be spread.
Even if your brush is covered in bacteria, your immune system can usually take care of any bacterial invaders. However, you should still care for your toothbrush properly and keep it clean.
Here are Some Toothbrush Storage Tips
#Tip#1 Store your toothbrush as far away from the toilet as possible.
Where you store your toothbrush in your bathroom is important. In most bathrooms, the toilet is very close to the sink, where most people keep their toothbrushes. Every time you flush, bacteria are released into the air – and you do not want that bacteria to get on your toothbrush.
#Tip#2 Clean your toothbrush holder regularly to remove germs.
Toothbrush holders are the third-most germy household items. They can pick up bacteria that are spread by toilet flushing.
#Tip#3 Keep your toothbrush as germ-free as possible
Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly with tap water every time you use it.
Let your toothbrush dry thoroughly between brushings. Don’t use toothbrush covers, which can create a moist enclosed breeding ground for bacteria.
Keep your toothbrush upright in a holder, rather than lying it down.
Don’t ever use anyone else’s toothbrush, or let someone use yours.
Keep toothbrushes separate. If toothbrushes touch they can swap germs.