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Study Finds that 60 Percent of Toothbrushes in Shared Bathrooms Contain Fecal Matter

Posted on 12/15/2015 by David D Admin
Redmond patient getting a polishing treatment Sharing a bathroom has a variety of disadvantages, from dealing with the toilet seat being left up to having to pick up someone else’s wet towels. However, one area that you may not have considered is how sharing a bathroom could affect your toothbrush. Unfortunately, a new study has found some surprising – and rather disgusting – results.

The Research

Research was recently presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, and the study examined how toothbrushes were affected when being kept in shared bathrooms. The findings concluded that more than 60% of toothbrushes found in a shared bathrooms tested positive for containing fecal matter. Even more, the researchers determined that there was an 80% chance that this fecal matter came from other people who were using the bathroom. This is especially troubling, since the fecal matter of another person can contain parasites, viruses, and bacteria that aren’t part of your normal flora and could cause illness.

This contamination likely results because toothbrushes are stored openly, exposing them to toilet materials and other microorganisms. Researchers discovered that even when sharing bathrooms, people didn’t alter the way that they stored their brushes, which ultimately left them vulnerable to contamination. The takeaway from this information is that better storage and cleaning practices are needed in order to protect tooth brushes against contamination.

What can I do?

If you share a bathroom and are looking for ways to keep your toothbrush safe, it is important to rinse out your brush thoroughly after use and allow it to air dry. You could also rinse out your brush with mouthwash periodically for added protection. You should never cover your toothbrush or keep it in a closed container, as this environment can serve as a bacterial breeding ground. Additionally, make sure that you are replacing your toothbrush at least once every three months.

Contact us to schedule an appointment today!
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