Skip to main content

You’ll never look at tour toothbrush the same again: 3 disturbing facts

Sometimes, the things we use to clean ourselves are the very things that keep us dirty.

There are certain personal items, like toothbrushes, that are designed especially for all the hygienic purposes you could think of. When you brush your teeth morning and evening, or even more than twice a day, you’d have no reason to concern yourself with oral hygiene issues or any other problems resulting from the lack of it. After all, what more can you possibly do than practicing what your dentist and your dental insurance tell you?

But there is still one aspect, that majority of people tend to overlook: your toothbrush may not be 100% sanitary. Studies have shown that this personal item has a dangerous potential for doing more damage than good when it’s not new or kept in the best of conditions.

Here is a list of situations you must be aware of to make sure they don’t happen to you:

Bacterial contamination

Contrary to what people might think, bacteria lie inside and outside our bodies at any time and any age. The word “bacteria” is not at all a synonym for “dirty” or “unhealthy,” since there is always the friendly beneficial type that helps the bodily systems, and which we require to function properly and feel optimal. But bacteria can often be linked to human infections and unpleasant feelings in the body, because these tiny entities can become just as harmful, once they find the perfect opportunity to get out of control.

We host more than 200 species of bacterial germs in our mouth by default, which the immune system can deal with under normal circumstances. But when your immunity level decreases for any given reason, the bacterial colonies that live between your teeth can instantly turn bad. The problem is aggravated when it comes to brushing because toothbrushes carry the same kind of germs that already affect your system. Experts in the lab found all kinds of nasty microorganisms nestled between the bristles, from E. coli to Streptococcus Mutans, among others that are responsible for severe conditions like infectious diarrhea or tooth decay.

Dirty deposits

A microscopic glance at what germs live invisibly and happy on the toothbrush bristles is sure to scare and disgust us. Potentially harmful bacteria can thrive, along with viruses such as Herpes type 1 and HPV or nasty fungus like Candida. What’s more, moisture and all kinds of less than perfect circumstances turn the ideally-sanitary habit of brushing your teeth into a pretty dirty job.

Imagine this: you do your due diligence to clean your mouth and take all residue off your teeth, but what you do is just move the stuff around, from the toothbrush to your teeth and vice versa. As ironic as it sounds, the truth is that the very tool you use to fight tooth decay, as the primary goal of oral hygiene, is in fact the one you should be fighting.

Furthermore, occasionally offering your toothbrush to someone else (a friend, a parent or a lover), does, in fact, defeats the purpose: you will only carry your dirty deposits around, instead of getting rid of them.

Unsanitary conditions

The bathroom where you brush your teeth may be spotlessly clean, but studies have revealed a most disturbing and neglected aspect. In case your toilet sits in the same room with your sink – which, let’s face it, is a very likely domestic scenario in the vast majority of homes – then the act of flushing will throw fecal particles all over the place, including on the toothbrush that goes in your mouth.

Lab results have determined that fecal matters that are microscopic in size do exist on toothbrush bristles if the toothbrush shares a relative proximity to the toilet seat. The only sensible thing to do in this most unfortunate scenario is to start flushing while the toilet lid is closed and to be much more careful where you place your toothbrush.

As a matter of fact, an even more reasonable solution would be acquiring an ultraviolet toothbrush sanitizer, which can make up for all the hygienic shortcomings mentioned above. This UV-powered device can hold your toothbrush in an upright position, while sterilization will prevent any microorganisms on the bristles from reproducing, which puts an end to bacteria and germs’ proliferation.

Along with the UV sanitizer, renewing your toothbrush every three months should be your dental norm.

Stay in the know

Sign up to get tips and resources

Brought to you by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY. Material discussed is meant for general illustration and/or informational purposes only and it is not to be construed as tax, legal, investment or medical advice.
# 2018-53357

Find a Dental plan
that's right for you.

Dental Insurance

Good Health Starts With Your Smile

You're busy and sometimes it’s a challenge to get it all done. Our plans are designed to help make it easier for you to put your health first - starting with your smile. Find a plan that’s right for you.

Accident Insurance

Be Prepared for Life's Surprises

You never expect an accident to happen to you or anyone in your family. Our plans help you deal with surprise costs that go along with them.  Find a plan that’s right for you. 

Pet Insurance

A Smart Choice for Pet Insurance

Now you can get simple, easy, affordable pet insurance and join millions of other happy customers.

Critical Illness Insurance

A Safety Net When You Need It Most

Dealing with a serious illness is tough. Having a financial safety net helps you focus on the fight - not how you'll pay the bills.  Find a plan that’s right for you.