Your humble old toothbrush might look innocent enough. But it’s a huge bacteria magnet.
A toothbrush can contain over 10 million bacteria including E. coli and Staph, says a University study.
In an unbrushed mouth, there can be as many germs as a dirty bathroom floor.
Your toothbrush can be contaminated by the water splashed when we wash our hands, or worse, by bacteria from an open-flushed toilet.
Nasties that fall from toilet spray remain airborne long enough to settle on surfaces throughout the bathroom.
And if you drop your toothbrush on the floor, the five second rule does not apply.
It picks up airborne bacteria that have settled on the floor and everything else that people traipse through via their feet.
Now that we’ve totally grossed you out, are you ready to start giving your toothbrush the respect it deserves? Here’s how to keep your toothbrush clean:
Get A New Brush
You should replace your brush every three to four months, or when the bristles become a bit tattered.
Use The Right Toothpaste
Some toothpastes are better than others at killing germs. Buy one that contains triclosan or copolymer — it’s better than regular fluoride toothpastes at killing oral bacteria.
Don’t Share Toothbrushes
Keep your bacteria to yourself. When you’re squeezing toothpaste onto your brush, make sure you don’t press the opening onto the bristles. It’s better to lay the toothpaste over the brush without physically contacting the toothpaste opening.
Clean Your Brush Thoroughly
Make sure you rinse your brush thoroughly after each use. And occasionally soak it in mouthwash or hydrogen peroxide, especially if you’ve dropped it on the floor.
“I occasionally put mine through the dishwasher,” said a spokesman for the Nigerian Dental Association.
Close The Toilet Lid
Always close the toilet lid before you flush. Every time.
Expose It To Air
Dentists say you shouldn’t store your toothbrush in an airtight container. The best way to store your toothbrush is in the medicine cabinet — that way, it still gets enough air, but is protected from external bacteria. And when toothbrushes are stored together, make sure the heads don’t touch.