Okay, you may not want to hear about this one. But it turns out that your trusty toothbrush is actually full of yucky stuff - things you'd rather not know about. In fact, a University of Manchester study says your trusty manual morning device can contain over 10 million bacteria including E. coli and Staphylococcus, or staph –a bacteria can cause a wide variety of diseases in humans and animals. And E. coli is no joke, either: It can cause serious problems, such as urinary tract infections, or even the potentially fatal condition known as sepsis.
And get this: your own supposedly normal bathroom environment can make things icky. For example, your toothbrush can be contaminated by the water splashed when washing your hands, or by bacteria from an open-flushed toilet. Experts say things that fall from toilet spray remain airborne long enough to settle on surfaces throughout the bathroom. Having fun yet?
Here’s how you can cut the “ick” factor:
- Replace that toothbrush every three to four months, or when the bristles become a bit tattered.
- Make sure you rinse your brush thoroughly after each use and occasionally soak it in mouthwash or hydrogen peroxide.
- Close that toilet lid. Your dental health, as well as your 'yuck' factor, will thank you.
- Drop the airtight toothbrush container: Experts say you should put your toothbrush in the medicine cabinet, which will expose it to air, but at the same time ward off external bacteria. And when toothbrushes are stored together, make sure the heads don’t touch. Please. Please do that.