Could Your Toothbrush Be Making You Sick? | Serving Everett, WA

More than likely….NO. Regardless of how many bacteria live in your mouth, or have gotten in there via your toothbrush, your body’s natural defenses make it highly unlikely that you're going to get an infection simply from brushing your teeth.

Fortunately, the human body is usually able to protect itself from bacteria. There is no real evidence that sitting the toothbrush in your bathroom in the toothbrush holder is causing any real damage or harm or that the bacteria on your toothbrush are turning into infections.

However, you should use some common sense about storing your toothbrush, including how close it is to the toilet.

Don't Brush Where You Flush

Most bathrooms are small. And in many homes, the toilet is very close to the bathroom sink where you keep your toothbrush.

Every time you flush the toilet it sends a spray of bacteria into the air. And you don't want the toilet spray anywhere near your toothbrush.

Would you store your plates and glasses by the toilet? You probably answered a disgusted, no.  So then why would you want to place your toothbrush there? Storing your toothbrush as far away from the toilet as possible makes the most sense.

You also wouldn't eat after going to the bathroom without first washing your hands. The same advice applies before brushing your teeth.

Toothbrush Storage Tips

Now that you have moved your toothbrush far away from the toilet, here are a few other storage tips to keep your brush as germ-free as possible:

  • Keep it rinsed. Wash off your toothbrush thoroughly with hot tap water every time you use it.
  • Keep it dry. Bacteria love moist environments, so make sure your brush has a chance to dry completely between brushings. Avoid using toothbrush covers as they can create a moist enclosed breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Keep it upright. Store your toothbrush upright in a holder, rather than lying it down.
  • Keep it to yourself. No matter how close you are to your sister, brother, spouse, or roommate don't ever use their toothbrush or vice versa. Don't even store your toothbrush side-by-side in the same cup with other people's brushes. Whenever toothbrushes touch, they can swap germs.

Dr. Ted Haines and team are committed to ensuring your optimal oral health and well-being.  Contact Dr. Haines at 360-568-8577 or visit our website

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