The ugly truth about your toothbrush
Do You Know What's Lurking on Your Toothbrush?
Your toothbrush is loaded with germs, say researchers at England's University of Manchester. They've found that one uncovered toothbrush can harbor more than 100 million bacteria, including E. coli bacteria, which can cause diarrhea, and staphylococci (Staph) bacteria that cause skin infections.
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"The bottom line is, there (are) hundreds of microorganisms in our mouths every day," says Gayle McCombs, RDH, MS, associate professor and director of the ... more
"The bottom line is, there (are) hundreds of microorganisms in our mouths every day," says Gayle McCombs, RDH, MS, associate professor and director of the Dental Hygiene Research Center at Old Dominion University.
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That's no big deal. Problems only start when there is an unhealthy balance of bacteria in the mouth, McCombs says.
"It's important to remember that plaque -- the stuff you're removing from your teeth -- is bacteria," says dentist Kimberly Harms, DDS, consumer advisor for the American Dental Association. "So you're putting bacteria on your toothbrush every time you brush your teeth."