From the dirt to the poo

We all know how important it it is to brush our teeth twice daily. However, it is also vital that toothbrushes don’t harbor any harmful bacteria.

A toothbrush is a common item that we use every day. We assume they are clean before putting them in our mouths.

Brushing your teeth is meant to keep your mouth clean, but one expert has warned that nasties could be lurking on your toothbrush


Although brushing your teeth is supposed to clean your mouth, one expert warned that you could have a host of nasties on your toothbrush.Credit: Getty

There are many unpleasant surprises between the bristles, a place for a host germs.

Previous studiesWe have discovered that a toothbrush can harbor more than 10 million bacteria.

This means that even though you think you are cleaning your mouth by brushing your teeth, your tongue could actually be wiped on the bathroom floor.

Dr Upen Vithlani, a dentist from India, is an expert in oral health. My Mouth reveals that toothbrushes can be contaminated in many ways.

Dr Vithlani stated that bacteria, viruses, and fungi could all lurk in your brush.

He said that these could include bacteria like streptococci, e.coli and staphylococcus.

Some strains of E.coli may cause diarrhoea and stomach pain, cramps, and nausea. In rare cases, streptococci can cause skin infection and sepsis.

Staphylococcus is not usually dangerous but if skin is punctured (which could include bleeding gyms) then bacteria could enter the site and cause infection.

Dr Vithlani advised: “From leaving your toothbrush out, an open-flushed toilet, or contaminants from toilet cleaners that can remain airborne for long enough to settle on surfaces in the bathroom.

“And if you drop your toothbrush on the floor, forget the five second rule as airborne bacteria from the floor and the dirt from people’s feet including faeces can find its way into your mouth and cause health problems.”

Dr Vithlani explained that there are certain things you can do in order to avoid germs entering your body from your toothbrush.

He explains how a toothbrush holder can be a good idea to prevent cross contamination or a toothbrush case. This is the number one reason to not share a toothbrush.

Top tips for maintaining a bright smile

Dr Vithlani suggested that you use these tips to preserve your smile.

  • Fluoride toothpaste should be applied twice daily to your teeth.
  • Cleaning between your teeth using an interdental brush or flosspicks
  • Cleaning your tongue daily
  • You can cut down on the amount and frequency of acidic and sugary foods and drinks.
  • Regular visits to your dentist and hygienist, as recommended by them
  • It is important to reduce darkly colored food, drinks, and especially coffee
  • Stop using tobacco products

He said: “Form a line of defence against these microorganisms that can invade your mouth by regularly replacing your toothbrush. 

“Bamboo brushes may also be more hygienic than traditional plastic handle brushes as bamboo has a natural antibacterial property and an ability to repel most bacteria.”

This will prevent the growth of nasties that love damp and dark places, he said.

To remove any food particles or lingering residue, rinse your toothbrush under running water. Dry the brush then store it in a dry and clean place.

“These are just a few techniques for cleaning your toothbrush.

“Yet such cleaning methods don’t eradicate the build-up of microorganisms in your toothbrush, the best line of defence is to replace your toothbrush regularly”He added.

One woman shows you how to make cleaning tools by using a toothbrush trick.

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