A Gross Mistake You're Probably Making With Your Toothbrush

Toothbrushes

Airborne Particles From Toilet Flushing Can Actually Make Their Way to Your Toothbrush Bristles!

Your toothbrush can harbor up to 10 million bacteria of various strains. Some of these bacteria are harmless, while others can be fatal. All sorts of contaminants, from blood and sweat to fecal particles can all be residing in your toothbrush and are introduced to your mouth when you brush your teeth.

Sounds gross, right? Does it sound too horrible to be true? Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but your toothbrush is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, which is attracted to moist environments. 

When you brush your teeth, the bacteria residing inside of your mouth becomes transferred onto your toothbrush. This situation becomes all the grosser when you find out that toothbrushes located in the same room as the toilet likely contain poop particles. Read on to find out how to make sure this doesn’t happen to your toothbrush.

Why Your Toilet Is Infecting Your Toothbrush With Bacteria

If you store your toothbrush in the bathroom where the toilet is, fecal particles spread into the air, covering virtually every surface within reach. These fecal particles become airborne and can spread over 6 feet and possibly even further if your toilet has a strong flush.

Fecal particles will land on your toothbrush if it’s located within this distance, which means you may be brushing your teeth with poop particles. This is why you should close the toilet lid before flushing and either store your toothbrush in a separate room or keep it contained behind a cabinet that’s far away from the toilet. 

Just be careful that you aren’t trapping in bacteria with toothbrush caps or other closed environments that prevent your toothbrush from drying. As previously mentioned, bacteria love dark, moist environments so you need to ensure that your toothbrush can dry out.

Think you’re in the clear if your toilet is in a separate room? Simply washing your hands next to your toothbrush can also spread poop particles. When storing your toothbrush elsewhere, you’ll also need to be careful it isn’t coming into contact with other toothbrushes, which will transfer their bacteria to you.

How to Keep Your Toothbrush Clean & Store It Properly

According to the ADA, the proper way to store your toothbrush is to place it in a toothbrush holder or something similar that holds the toothbrush upright to airdry. You should never place caps or other containers on top of your toothbrush, as these promote bacterial growth. You should also rinse off your toothbrush before storing it away to remove any remaining bacteria and toothpaste.

How Often Should You Change Your Toothbrush?

At max, you should change your toothbrush every 3-4 months. However, if you notice that the bristles have become frayed sooner than this, you should toss it and get another one as it won’t effectively clean your teeth and can also harbor more bacteria.