If you’re not careful, your toothbrush actually has the potential to do more harm than good.
Here are some facts that will make you look differently at your toothbrush.
Toothbrushes are bacteria’s playground
Despite what you may think, this isn’t cause for panic. Not all bacteria are bad. Thousands of bacterial species live inside and outside our bodies, many of which provide a variety of benefits.
The average toothbrush can be home to more than 100 million types of bacteria, including E.Coli, Staphylococcus Aureus, Streptococcus Mutans, Lactobacillus and more.
But these bacteria aren’t necessarily harmful. To keep your mouth healthy, clean your toothbrush and replace it regularly, and never use someone else’s.
Your toilet could be the culprit
You likely brush your teeth in the bathroom, the very room your toilet is located. It makes sense, but it’s not ideal, especially when it comes to the storage of your toothbrush.
60% of toothbrushes were found to contain fecal particles — 80% of which come from other people using the bathroom.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t avoid it. Store your toothbrush at least six feet away from the toilet if possible. And when you’re done doing your business, put the lid down before you flush.
Using a cap is not very hygienic
After the previous revelation, you might think storing your toothbrush in an enclosed case or a travel cap could be a way to keep it clean and safe. That’s not exactly the case.
Keeping your wet toothbrush in a closed environment encourages bacteria growth. Keeping the toothbrush bristles moist will turn it into a breeding ground for dangerous microorganisms. It’s best to let it breathe.
Soft bristles outperform hard bristles
Soft bristles aren’t just better than hard bristles; hard bristles can do some damage. They can put stress on your gums and lead to receding gum lines. Soft bristles, on the other hand, are gentle and can clean your teeth just as efficiently.
Toothbrushes should be changed often
Brushing with an old toothbrush is like trying to clean a dirty pan with a dirty sponge — not very effective and potentially harmful.
Not only do your teeth receive an improper cleaning, but you could also damage your gums with aggressive brushing to make up for worn bristles. Frayed bristles are also tougher on your enamel and could lead to plaque buildup, sensitive teeth and gum disease.