Turns out we’ve been keeping our toothbrushes in the wrong place since, like, forever.
If you keep your toothbrush stored neatly in a little holder at the side of your sink, you’re not alone.
But according to Dr Payal Bhalla, principal dentist and clinical director of Quest Dental, it’s actually pretty unhygienic, especially if you don’t live alone.
There are a few reasons, all relating to bacteria, obvs.
What’s wrong with keeping your toothbrush in the bathroom?
‘When you flush the toilet, especially with the lid open, tiny water droplets containing bacteria and other microorganisms can become aerosolized and settle on nearby surfaces, including your toothbrush,’ says Dr Payal.
This is obviously even worse if your toothbrush is placed in close proximity with your toilet.
Yup, that means there’s a very high likelihood your toothbrush is covered in poo particles. Nice.
But that’s not the only issue – there’s also the fact that bathrooms get pretty humid and (sorry) moist, you know, from all those long, hot evening showers.
‘Bathrooms tend to be humid environments, which can promote the growth of bacteria and mould on your toothbrush,’ Dr Payal adds.
And, if you share your bathroom with others, there’s a higher likelihood of cross-contamination because, as Dr Payal says, ‘multiple people may be using the space and touching various surfaces.’
We’ve got to admit, it makes sense. You couldn’t be caught dead eating something in the bathroom, would you? But we put our toothbrushes in our mouths twice a day, everyday.
Where to store your toothbrush
Dr Praya recommends storing your toothbrush anywhere but your bathroom, ideally in a dry area such as a bedroom or ‘dedicated toothbrush cabinet’.
But if you do have to keep your toothbrush in the bathroom, Dr Praya has shared some tips for keeping it as clean as possible.
Flush with the lid down: Flushing with the lid up allows poo particles to spread around your bathroom and onto your toothbrush, so try not to do that.
Use a toothbrush cover: A ventilated toothbrush cover will help protect your toothbrush from all those nasty floating bacteria.
Store upright and separated: Store your toothbrush upright in a toothbrush holder or cup to allow it to air dry – and make sure it doesn’t touch other toothbrushes if you’re in a shared bathroom.
Regular cleaning: Make sure you clean your toothbrush holder regularly to avoid mould and bacteria building up
Always rinse before using: This one is kind of self explanatory.
Replace regularly: Toothbrushes should be replaced every 3-4 months or sooner if the bristles become frayed
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