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The Gross Post (or, Why we don't replace our toothbrushes often enough)

Posted by Simon Cooper on

How old is your toothbrush? Any idea?

Life is so busy these days and if you’re like me, buying a new toothbrush often gets forgotten until your bristles look like a tiny food-filled explosion. Having to remember something so mundane is annoying. Let’s face it, a toothbrush is not high on the list of things that are fun to shop for.

But using an old toothbrush is more than just bad for your teeth, gums and general health. It’s also proven to lead to things like dementia and heart disease. Yikes!

Here’s the thing:

You use your toothbrush a few times a day to remove food, germs and plaque from your teeth. And I don’t mean waving it like a magic wand, you’re in there scrubbing madly away for a few minutes each time. Then you scrape the gunk off the back of your tongue with it. (Apologies for how gross this blog is at times.)

After all that, you rinse your toothbrush under cold water, bang it on the sink a few times and put it away. Where? Hopefully in a drawer. But many of us keep them in a cup on the counter. Which is close to the toilet. I’m not going to add more disgust to this post, but if that’s you thing, then read this. The bottom line is that if you take a minute to think about toothbrush hygiene, it’s a bit unsettling.

Now take a fork. You use one two or three times a day to put food in your mouth—no brushing and scrubbing here—just putting food into your mouth and taking the fork out. Then what do you do? You wash it in super hot water with soap and put it in a drawer.

Imagine giving it a quick rinse and then putting it away with all the other forks. *Shudder*

Science aside, we think that replacing your toothbrush more often isn’t weird. It’s hygienic. With germs and sickness being more common these days, using a fresh toothbrush is a really simple way to stay healthy.

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