If you share a bathroom, then there may be something contaminating your toothbrush.
According to a study done by researchers at Quinnipiac University, sharing a bathroom with a roommate or partner may mean that your toothbrush contains that person’s fecal matter. 60% of the toothbrushes that were collected in the study tested positive for fecal matter, and to make it worse, there was an 80% chance that the fecal matter on the toothbrush didn’t belong to the owner of the brush.
This happens when the toothbrush is stored out in the open, perhaps in a cup on the sink, and bacteria from the toilet has the opportunity to infect it. When you flush the toilet, with the lid up, fecal particles rush up into the air and can land on the nearby toothbrush.
So how do you protect yourself from contamination? The researchers in the study found that using a toothbrush cap or cover was actually less sanitary, because the toothbrush doesn’t get a chance to dry. This allows bacteria to stick around on the toothbrush.
The best way to protect yourself from the potential fecal matter bacteria on your toothbrush is to rinse it well before and after use. If possible, store your toothbrush upright, in a place where it can dry, away from the toilet. This is the best way to avoid contamination.