Preliminary studies have shown that in a shared bathroom environment, up to 60% of toothbrushes are contaminated with fecal matter, and there is an 80% chance that it is not your own.
Researchers studied the toothbrushes of college students sharing a communal bathroom – 60% of the toothbrushes showed contamination from fecal matter, regardless of the storage and cleaning methods used.
Accidentally consuming someone else’s fecal matter, even in trace amounts, carries the risk of illness and infection, as fecal matter may contain viruses, parasites, and even bacteria that are not part of your body’s own native microbes.
Researchers suggest that people sharing restroom facilities practice better methods of storing their toothbrushes in order to prevent contamination. One effective method is to not keep your toothbrush in a shared bathroom.
But if that is not an option, here are a few ways to keep your toothbrush up to shape:
- Do not share your toothbrush with anyone.
- Replace your toothbrush at least once every four months.
- Do not use toothbrush covers – they actually lock in moisture and create an environment for bacteria to thrive.
- Store your toothbrush upright after use, and allow it to air dry.
- Rinse your toothbrush with tap water.
- Do not store your toothbrush in close proximity to anyone else’s to prevent cross-contamination.
- If you have any concerns about proper toothbrush storage, be sure to check with your friendly Valencia dentist today. They can give you a rundown of the dos and don’ts of keeping your toothbrush clean.