According to the findings of a team of microbiologists, toothbrushes held in open air in shared rest rooms have a high risk of being pelted with microscopic airborne fecal material on a daily basis.
The findings were unveiled last Tuesday at an American Society for Microbiology assembly. According to the findings, 60 percent of toothbrushes students use to brush their teeth at the Quinnipiac University’s shared bathrooms were infested with fecal coliform bacteria.
Researchers explained that the pesky bacteria reached the toothbrushes through air whenever they flushed toilet. Nevertheless, this is a common incident that happens almost every day in our bathrooms, researchers explained.
On the other hand, there is an even more disturbing find. The team found that there is an 80 percent chance of getting your fecal bacteria contamination from the people you are sharing your bathroom with.
Invisible fecal coliforms can be found on nearly every item in your bathroom. They were also detected in natural waterways and even on human skin. But having somebody else’s fecal coliforms on your skin or (yuck!) toothbrush can’t get creepier than it is.
Even the researchers said that having somebody else’s fecal matter on your toothbrush was even a health concern. Your own fecal bacteria on your toothbrush is not that worrisome, they explained, but having small particles of fecal matter from the persons you share the bathroom with is troubling.
Scientists argue that the tiny airborne fecal matter particles may contain viruses and even parasites that may get you in real trouble since your gut flora doesn’t recognize them.
But if you’re thinking of buying a toothbrush cover to prevent the fecal invasion, scientists recommend you should think twice. Toothbrush covers retain moisture on the brush and provide an even more welcoming environment for bacteria to thrive.
A hearty rinse of your mouth has also near zero effect, while mouthwash doesn’t solve the problem either.
According to the American Dental Association, you should follow some simple rules to make sure that you have a healthy tooth brushing. First and foremost you should refrain from sharing your brush. Sharing toothbrushes exposes you and your partner to a high risk of infections.
Store the toothbrush properly. You should prevent you brush from making contact with other toothbrushes and let it air-dry until future use. Do not cover them or store them in closed containers since other bacteria can flourish.
Replace the toothbrush every 3-4 months.
On the other hand, the American Dental Association reported that there wasn’t enough “clinical evidence” to back the idea that fecal bacteria transfer in shared rest-rooms could lead to “specific” health problems.
Image Source: Flickr
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