Do Germs Live on Your Toothbrush?

Do you Know what Germs live on your Patients' Toothbrush?

By Melissa Busch from Dr. Bicuspid

What's on your toothbrush? Mostly just bacteria from your mouth, according to a study published on January 31 in Microbiome. The types of bacteria living on toothbrushes reflect microbes commonly found in the oral cavity and on the skin -- and not in the surrounding environment.

Toothbrushes used by those who kept up with their daily oral hygiene habits had less-diverse bacteria on their surfaces.  Most of the microbes found on the bristles of toothbrushes likely came from the users' mouths instead of from their guts. The brushes were also mostly free of bacteria from other environmental factors, such as dust or germ-containing aerosols generated by flushing a toilet with the lid up.

Additionally, better oral hygiene, regular flossing, and mouthwash use were associated with toothbrushes that had less-diverse microbial communities. What's the conclusion? A cleaner mouth equals a cleaner toothbrush.

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