Where you store your toothbrush in your bathroom is important. In a lot of bathrooms, the toilet is very close to the sink. Every time you flush, bacteria are released into the air and can get your toothbrush if it’s left close by.
Scientists at Leeds University tested the air above toilets and found that bacteria can be propelled up to 10 inches above toilet seats with every open flush.
Although the highest levels of bacteria were found right after a flush; between 15 and 47 contaminated water droplets were detected on nearby surfaces an hour and a half later.
The type of bacteria found is known to cause diarrhea and vomiting and was found on the sides and top of the toilet and on the floor.
Your best option is to keep your brush in another room of the house that’s less susceptible to germs. Now I know this can be real pain for many folks and even seem ridiculous to others but here’s why it might work for you.
- You don’t have a 2-pin socket in your bathroom so you have your charger in another room anyway
- You don’t have much storage in your bathroom
- The brush is not being constantly exposed to a steamy atmosphere
Do’s – Toothbrush Storage Tips
- rinse your toothbrush thoroughly with hot tap water every time you use it
- keep your toothbrush upright with the bristles at the top
- let your toothbrush dry thoroughly between brushings
- keep toothbrushes separate. If toothbrushes touch they can swap germs
- if you keep your brush in the medicine cabinet check if enough air is getting to your brush – it should have dried out between cleanings
Don’ts – Toothbrush Storage Tips
- don’t ever use anyone else’s toothbrush
- don’t let anyone else use yours
- don’t use toothbrush covers, they can create a moist enclosed breeding ground for bacteria
- don’t use a toothbrush holder unless it’s spotlessly clean
A study by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) found that toothbrush holders are the third-most germy household items (behind dish sponges and kitchen sinks).
Do toothbrush sanitisers work?
Toothbrush sanitisers come in various forms, some use ultraviolet light, others are sprays or rinses. Some manufacturers claim their brushes have built-in antibacterial bristles.
Despite there being plenty of product options, there seems little evidence that sanitisers reduce any harmful effects bacteria on toothbrushes can cause.
The American Dental Association (ADA) states soaking your toothbrush in an antibacterial mouth rinse after use may reduce the amount of bacteria on your toothbrush.
According to the ADA and toothbrush manufacturers toothbrushes should not be put in a microwave or a dishwasher as the bristles can get damaged and lose their cleaning effectiveness.
Although another ADA spokesperson, a Dr. Jones stated “I occasionally put mine through the dishwasher”, I certainly won’t be doing that, more than my lives worth if my wife found my toothbrush in the dishwasher.
I’m going to do some more research on the whole subject of keeping toothbrushes as clean as possible. I will update this post as and when I learn more.
How do you do to keep your toothbrush clean?