Last year, a study from the American Society for Microbiology found that covering a toothbrush with a cap is actually extremely unsanitary. Surprised? Well, you might want to rethink how you store your toothbrush.
According to Laura Aber, the study’s graduate student researcher, “Using a toothbrush cover doesn’t protect a toothbrush from bacterial growth, but actually creates an environment where bacteria are better suited to grow by keeping the bristles moist and not allowing the head of the toothbrush to dry out between uses.” OK, this actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Any bathroom is kind of moist (ew) to begin with, then factor in your steamy shower and it’s moisture city in there! Now think about that tight cap covering your toothbrush… yeah not such a good idea after all.
If you’re traveling, Oral-B suggests using a cap with tiny holes in it to at least let in some air (like these Reach Toothbrush Covers). But definitely keep your toothbrush cover-free at home. The best way to store it is upright and if you live with someone, go for a holder that has a few openings to keep your toothbrushes away from each other.
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