Most bathrooms are small and share an area between the vanity and toilet but what does that mean for our toothbrush sitting nearby? While it may seem like the norm to keep your toothbrush in the bathroom, it seems many of us are keeping it too close to the toilet. In fact, if you can see your toilet and toothbrush in the same line of vision, there’s a 99 percent chance that your toothbrush’s sanitary state has been compromised4.
Researchers have found that toothbrushes can harbor more than 100 million bacteria. But while this may not be seriously harming our health thanks to the bodies’ ability to protect us from bacteria, it may be worth knowing for anyone looking to limit the bacteria and germs exposed in our homes.
When a toilet is flushed it creates an aerosol effect, spraying germs within the immediate area and within the room4. This is why we are taught as kids, to close the lid before flushing the toilet.
You may think you’re out of the waters if you have a toothbrush cover, but this may be causing you more harm than good. Studies have shown that toothbrush covers aren’t protecting your toothbrush head, but rather providing an environment for bacteria to live and grow by keeping the bristles moist. It’s best to let your toothbrush dry, standing upright in an area that is distant from unsanitary environments such as the toilet.
Like all sanitizers, toothbrush sanitizers aren’t guaranteed to protect us from 100 percent of bacteria2. They can, however, aid in giving us peace of mind that we are limiting the germs and bacteria that enter our mouth and help us to get into a routine of cleaning our dental equipment, a general healthy habit.
There are typically three types of toothbrush sanitization that you can use to eliminate some bacteria1:
Remember, not all bacteria is bad for us, some good bacteria’s protect us from getting sick. However, bacteria from the toilet is probably something you don’t want on your toothbrush. If you’re concerned about how you can better protect your mouth from bacteria, book an appointment for a check-up and clean and speak to your dentist about options for keeping your mouth free of bacteria.