Your toothbrush might be the nastiest thing you have to deal with every day. Imagine!!!
According to scientists at the England University of Manchester, there are more than one hundred million bacteria living in your uncovered toothbrush, including staphylococci which cause skin rashes and E. coli which cause diarrhea.
There is no need to panic, as your mouth is not free of micro-organisms after all. In fact, there are hundreds of bacteria which live normally in our oral cavity without causing any oral diseases. The problems start when the balance between bacterial floras is disturbed.
Actually, you are the source of bacteria on your toothbrush, as every time you use your toothbrush to remove plaque (full of bacteria) from your teeth, you are automatically reloading your toothbrush with more and more bacteria.
Now, the most important question: can your toothbrush cause your sickness?
NO. There is no clinical evidence that your toothbrush will cause you illness despite the huge number of bacteria living in it, thanks to your natural body immune system.
However, here are some nice tips to store your toothbrush:
1. Don’t store your toothbrush near your toilet “Don’t brush where you flush”.
Nowadays, most bathrooms are very narrow; actually, there is no much between your bathroom sink (where you normally keep your toothbrush open) and your toilet. Unfortunately, it is a proven fact that each toilet scatters bacteria in the surrounding media each time you flush. So believe me you don’t want to put your toothbrush anywhere near your toilet.
2. Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly with clean tap water each time you finish using it.
3. Always store your toothbrush dry as bacteria love moisture, make sure your toothbrush cover is dry as well.
4. Store your toothbrush in an upright position instead of lying it down.
5. Make sure nobody else uses your toothbrush. Usually, toothbrush bristles (however soft they are) cause minute wounds to the gingiva, leaving minor traces of blood behind. It is really better to avoid storing your toothbrush in the same cup of other people toothbrushes’.
6. Toss your toothbrush regularly. The American Dental Association advises you to change your toothbrush every 3-4 months; this is the best way to eliminate bacteria.
But what about toothbrush sanitizers, do they really work?
Till now, there is no evidence that using these products can prevent bacterial growth on your toothbrush 100%. However, some of them can effectively kill pathogens. If you are really interested in using a toothbrush sanitizer, make sure it is proved by FDA.