Your toothbrush might seem clean to you but it is housing more than 100 million bacteria including E. coli and staphylococci. The University of Alabama at Birmingham found that fecal germs were on your toothbrushes as well. Excited yet?!
According to another research, 60 percent of toothbrushes analyzed in community bathrooms tested positive for fecal coliform bacteria.
To make you feel even more disgusted than that, the research shows that if you’re sharing a bathroom, there’s an 80 percent chance that those fecal bacteria belong to somebody else.
Don’t freak out! Tiny fecal coliforms are a part of everyday life — they can be found in natural waterways and even on your skin. According to researchers, your gastrointestinal system can tolerate your own bacteria, but this doesn’t apply when you live with a roommate for example, and you share a bathroom. Your gut isn’t used to these foreign bacteria.
“The main concern is not with the presence of your own fecal matter on your toothbrush, but rather when a toothbrush is contaminated with fecal matter from someone else, which contains bacteria, viruses, or parasites that are not part of your normal flora,” said Lauren Aber, a graduate student that took place in the research.
What are the solutions to such a problem?
Here we give you some tips for toothbrush care, even though they’re pretty obvious:
- Do not share toothbrushes.
- Thoroughly rinse toothbrushes with tap water after brushing to remove any remaining toothpaste and debris.
- Store the brush in an upright position if possible and allow the toothbrush to air-dry until used again. If more than one brush is stored in the same holder or area, keep the brushes separated to prevent cross-contamination.
- Do not routinely cover toothbrushes or store them in closed containers.
- Replace toothbrushes at least every three to four months.