Can Your Toothbrush Make You Sick?

There are possibly 700 species of bacteria that can live on your toothbrush. On average your mouth harbors anywhere between 30 to 70 different kinds of bacteria, even with good hygiene. The plaque you remove from your teeth, as you brush, is loaded with bacteria, which in the end ends up on your toothbrush.

At any given time you toothbrush can be a haven for 100 million bacteria. Though not all of these bacteria are harmful (even some can actually be helpful) there are still many of the nasty ones still present. Most likely your toothbrush will not make you ill. But can it? The answer is yes, if it’s not properly used and stored.

Just like you wouldn’t store your dining plates and glasses next to your toilet, you shouldn’t do the same with your toothbrush. Every time you flush, an invisible plume of vapor is released from your toilet and can hang in the air for several minutes. These contaminated water vapors easily travel and can end up on surfaces that are close by, such as your toothbrush.

Bacteria like moist places, after using and rinsing your toothbrush, store in an up-right position to let it dry. Do not lay it down where moisture can become trapped and begin to multiply. Also do not store your toothbrush next to other toothbrushes. Children or spouses that are sick, can easily spread disease if their toothbrush comes into contact with yours.

The best way to reduce and limit bacteria, is to replace your toothbrush on a regular basis. Replacing your toothbrush every three to four months is the recommendation from the American Dental Association. Good oral hygiene not only helps in the care and appearance of your teeth, it can also have an effect on your heart, but that is for another article.