There are many things that I learned from working in a hospital.  I’d have to say that the overarching theme is sanitation, from cleaning my hands to wearing a facemask and everything in between.  Of all the things that I still put into practice, one sticks out as the most practical and surely the most important in everyday life.  A colleague of mine asked me this question and I posit it to you.  What’s the dirtiest thing in the bathroom?

Here’s a hint, you use it daily and it goes in your mouth.  That’s right, your toothbrush.  While brushing your teeth is essential for hygiene, the bacteria, saliva, and food debris may stay in the toothbrush.  The cleanliness and sanitation also has to do with how you store your toothbrush as it dries.  It should be kept in an upright position in the open air, as closed and moist environment can breed bacteria. Also, be sure that after you have a cold or the flu that you replace your toothbrush. The virus may have reached your brush via saliva.

All those facts aside, the real reason that your toothbrush may harbor germs is because of the toilet.  When you flush the toilet with the lid ajar, the bacteria can be displaced over 10 feet in the air.  In most bathrooms, the toothbrush is certainly within that radius.  For this reason, it’s important to close the lid before you flush the toilet.  Not only is it sanitary, it also keeps the women happy.

I don’t want to entice fear from this article.  Let’s be honest, you need to brush your teeth and you have to use the bathroom from time to time.  Just be sure that you take the necessary precautions to keep the toothbrush as sanitary as possible.   At the end of the day, that’s what you use to clean your mouth.