Here's Some Super Gross News About Your Toothbrush

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You know that fresh, clean feeling you get after brushing your teeth? It just might go away completely after reading this. A study done by researchers at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut has revealed that there is a whole lot more than just toothpaste on that brush of yours. Researchers studied the toothbrushes of students who shared a bathroom with an average of 9.4 students, and the results are disturbing to say the least. According to their findings, 60% of toothbrushes are contaminated with fecal matter, which means that, yep — there could be poop particles on the thing that keeps your pearly whites clean.

Ugh. So gross. So, so gross. Sadly, it makes sense why it's a thing, especially in communal spaces like dorm bathrooms. Bacteria is swimming in bathrooms in general, and when you have a bunch of students sharing the same space, things are bound to get, well, messy. After all, it's not just toothbrushes that could be coated in fecal matter: recently, cell phones, cutting boards, and even beards have also been revealed as icky sources of the source. But how can you protect your toothbrush from what seems to be inevitable ick? Here are a few ways:

1. Don't use your brush where you flush.

If your toilet is close to where you store your toothbrush, then, sorry to burst your bubble, but toilet water can (and often will) splash tiny particles onto the brush. Keep your brush as far from the area as possible.

2. Let it air dry.

Moisture is a breeding ground for bacteria, so don't toss your toothbrush into a plastic bag in order to keep it safe from the scary poop particles — it could cause other scary bacteria to breed at a rapid rate. Instead, let your brush stand vertically and air dry.

3. Keep your brush away from your roommates.

Or anyone else you share a bathroom with. It might be a better idea to get your own toothbrush holder than to have your toothbrushes "kissing" in the bathroom.

4. Don't use a toothbrush cover.

Sure, it seems like a good idea, but the less air your brush gets the more likely bacteria will breed.

5. Change your toothbrush often.

Every three months or so is a good bench mark, but the more frequently you replace your brush the less likely it will be for gross things to grow.

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