The truth is that your toothbrush is a breeding ground for bacteria. Numerous studies have shown that not only can a dirty toothbrush cause gingivitis and other diseases, but it can also prolong upper respiratory tract infections.
Even more alarming is that if your toilet is in your bathroom, every time you flush, billions of bacterial cells are made airborne, through “toilet plume”. A recent study found that this can spread infectious diseases if the bacteria or viruses make their way into your system. The toothbrush becomes a carrier of harmful pathogens.
Numerous studies have confirmed that UV has the ability to kill the majority of bacteria, viruses, and mold. Toothbrush hygiene is important in preventing the spread of disease. UV sanitizing together with adequate rinsing and good ventilation can reduce the risk associated with dental diseases.
Let’s look at how you can protect yourself and your family from bathroom germs.
Risks Associated with Toothbrush Microorganisms
Not only can bacteria on toothbrushes lead to the loss of teeth, jaw bone loss, and gum diseases, but it can also potentially lead to serious respiratory diseases.
The most common infections associated with oral bacteria include:
- Periodontal disease
- Oral thrush
- Canker sores
- Herpangina in children
In addition, viruses like herpes can’t be cured. Once it finds a way into your system or your child’s system, it is there for life. In this case, prevention isn’t just better than a cure, it is the cure.
Another study found that infectious and potentially deadly diseases such as SARS and pandemic influenza can be spread by flushing the toilet. Should any bacteria or viruses land on a nearby toothbrush, the transmission will be made the next time you use your toothbrush.
Influenza, or the flu, can also be spread by people sneezing or coughing in the bathroom. It doesn’t even have to be directly on your toothbrush. It just has to get carried through the air and settle on it.
Recent research published by the American Association For The Advancement of Science aimed to test the effect of UV light on influenza. They found that even low-level UV exposure was enough to disrupt the molecular bonds that hold the virus together.
Furthermore, a study that looked into the effects of toothbrush sanitization and sterilization procedures found that UV exposure killed a wider variety of organisms than the other methods tested. It was also more effective at sterilizing toothbrush bristles. By using a UV Sterilizer the possibility of (auto-)reinfections was greatly reduced.
How a Toothbrush Sterilizer Works
Not all bacteria or cleaning methods were created equal. Just as not all bacteria will kill you, so too not all cleaning methods will kill bacteria. Many methods might sanitize, meaning they kill many of the bacteria but not all, while sanitization methods are aimed at complete disinfection.
The best combination method for keeping your toothbrush clean and your family healthy is two-fold.
- First, after each use, rinse your toothbrush thoroughly and tap it on the edge of the washbasin to get rid of any excess water. Then allow it to stand or hang upright to dry.
- Secondly, before using it again make sure you sterilize your toothbrush. This has to be done right before you use it, not after each use (because then pathogens can settle on it again).
The best all-in-one tool is a UV Antibacterial Automatic Toothbrush Sterilizer. The best model will allow your toothbrush to hang while drying (this is critical to prevent cross-contamination) and have a set sterilization period that allows you to use your toothbrush with confidence.
Will other cleaning methods be as effective?
All studies show that UV sterilization is one of the best methods of eliminating germs. While there are other ways of keeping your toothbrush safe, none are as effective or economical as a reusable UV Toothbrush Sterilizer. It also takes the hassle out of sterilizing, as it becomes part of your cleaning routine.
The American Dental Association has previously also noted that there is no clinical evidence confirming that other methods, like soaking your toothbrush in antibacterial mouthwash, have any positive effect. If you want to ensure the safety of your family, make sure you choose a method that works.
Scientists offer some final advice: Brushing your teeth with a contaminated toothbrush will do more harm than good. It is essential for every single person to disinfect his or her toothbrush before each use, preventing infections, and helping to maintain good oral hygiene and promote wellbeing.