3 Ways You’re Likely Storing Your Toothbrush Wrong—and Inviting Bacteria Into Your Mouth

Photo: Stocksy/Joselito Briones

Even if you use feng shui principles to organize your home, it's totally plausible that you overlook the functional setup of your bathroom. After all, the toilet, the tub, and the other fixtures are, well—fixed. You simply don't have the same wiggle room to really get into the details as you might with cultivating a serene bedroom. So, if you haven't spent much time considering the placement of things in your bathroom, like your toothbrush, for example, it makes sense. But where and how you store your trusty teeth cleaner is actually really important, according to Apartment Therapy.

Since your toothbrush is all up in your mouth every day, not to mention that it lives in a room with a toilet, it's subjected to lots of bacteria—so it's crucial that you do your best to keep it clean. The American Dental Association notes that it's best practice to rinse your brush until it's free of residue, shake it to dry it, and keep it upright and away from other brushes. But there are a few other storage tips to implement in order to keep your mouth (and body) healthy.

Here are 3 bacteria-manifesting toothbrush mistakes you might be making.

1. Storing it anywhere close to your toilet

A 2005 study found that toilet water particles can reach 2.7 feet, though Self reported that this figure could actually reach six feet. If you have a tiny bathroom, placing your toothbrush in a cup on the sink might be too close for comfort.

2. Keeping it in your medicine cabinet

Your toothbrush is obviously somewhat wet, so when you store it in a closed space where it can't dry thoroughly, you're creating the perfect environment for bacteria to multiply.

3. Not keeping it upright

By laying your brush down instead of keeping it standing in a holder or cup, you're again enabling bacteria to grow in a wet setting. The water will drip off the brush and create a pond of bacteria that the bristles will sit in.

If you have a hand dryer in your bathroom, it's also a good rule of thumb to keep your toothbrush away from it, as the appliances are known to spread ick-factor-heavy particles.

Make the most out of your bathroom with these affordable upgrades, or book an Airbnb with a spa-level bathroom.

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