August 10, 2022
When cleaning their homes, many people focus on loading the dishwasher, doing laundry, and wiping down surfaces. Areas like the toilet and the kitchen sink tend to get some extra attention since people assume that these are some of the dirtiest areas in the house. But, when it comes to the bathroom, some of the dirtiest items in your home may be ones you’d never expect. Read on to learn about three of the dirtiest items in the bathroom.
Item #1: Your Toothbrush Holder
According to a 2011 NSF international household germ study, 27% of toothbrush holders tested positive for coliform bacteria. This kind of bacteria is always present in the digestive tracts of humans and animals and is found in their wastes. Some examples of coliform bacteria include E. coli and salmonella, both of which can damage your smile.
Both E. coli and salmonella can cause you to vomit. Stomach acid in one’s vomit can eat away at your enamel, which is the protective outer layer of the teeth. This makes your teeth more likely to develop cavities. To avoid this, thoroughly clean your toothbrush holder at least once per week, or switch it out every six to twelve months.
Item #2: Your Toothbrush
Your toothbrush comes into contact with bacteria in your mouth on a daily basis, so it’s not surprising to learn that it isn’t all that clean. In addition, if you don’t get a new toothbrush after recovering from a sickness, you may end up reinfecting yourself. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends buying a new toothbrush once you recover from being ill as well as every three to four months since this is usually when the bristled begin to show signs of wear. You should also disinfect your toothbrush after every use by submerging it in mouthwash or hot water.
Item #3: Your Bathroom Towels
To many, bathroom towels are only used to wipe your hands off after you wash them. This may make you think that washing them once per week is enough, but studies show that many people don’t wash their hands thoroughly enough. Combined with the dampness of the towel, this creates the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive. Those bacteria can then transfer to your hands. If you touch your mouth with your hands or use the towel to wipe your mouth off, the bacteria can enter the oral cavity. Washing your towels a few times per week to avoid contamination.
As you can see, some of the dirtiest items in the bathroom are quite surprising. By being sure to regularly clean these items, you can avoid oral and overall health issues to keep your smile and body in good shape!
About the Author
Dr. Thomas G. Peters is a highly skilled dentist who leads the team at Farmington Valley Dental. He has lived in the area for 43 years and takes pride in beautifying it one smile at a time. Dr. Peters can teach you about better ways to care for your smile, such as why it’s important to regularly clean the dirtiest items in the bathroom. If you want more information or are ready to schedule an appointment, visit Farmington Valley Dental’s website or call their office at (860) 677-8500.
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