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3 Disgusting Things Found on Toothbrushes

Updated March 11, 2022

You know that brushing is part of a good oral hygiene routine. But this is only true if the toothbrush is clean and free of dangerous bacteria. At our Memphis dental office, we know that there are some pretty disgusting things that can be found on toothbrushes, and we want you to know about them, not to gross you out, but to make you aware of them and how to avoid them.


Gum disease or dental trauma can cause gum tissue or other areas of the mouth to bleed. If your mouth bleeds while you brush, there’s a good chance some blood is transferred to your toothbrush. If not rinsed thoroughly, it can stay there, waiting for the next time you brush.


Although incredibly gross, yet incredibly real, there is the likelihood of fecal matter being on your toothbrush. What’s worse (yes, it can be worse), is that dangerous bacteria, like E. Coli, can come along with it. If you brush with a toothbrush that has E. Coli on it, it can make you very sick.  

Staphylococcus Aureus

This bacteria is some pretty serious stuff. And it may be on your toothbrush. It lives in our respiratory systems and on our skin, and if conditions are just right, it can lead to a MRSA infection. Don’t worry too much though, it is pretty rare.

How to Keep Your Toothbrush Clean

You can decrease the chance of this gross stuff inhabiting your toothbrush by following some helpful toothbrush care tips.

  • Replace It. Tossing your toothbrush and replacing it with a new one every three to four months not only keeps it in top performing condition, it also lowers the chance for bacteria buildup.
  • Don’t Let Others Use It. Sharing a toothbrush is a great way to transfer germs and bacteria from one person to another, which nobody wants. Allowing brushes to touch while not in use can also cause this to happen, so keep your toothbrush as yours only and don’t let it touch another.
  • Let It Air Dry. Storing a still-wet toothbrush in a sealed container or capping the bristles can create a favorable environment for bacteria to multiply and flourish. Instead, keep it upright in a dry place.

Following the tips above, continuing to brush twice a day, and floss once a day is a routine designed to keep your mouth, and your body, healthy. But don’t forget about regular dental appointments at our dental office in Memphis. Seeing us at least every six months allows for early diagnosis of any problems and quicker, more effective treatment. If it’s time for your dental cleaning and exam, call us to schedule your appointment today.

Accepting new patients from Memphis, Germantown, Cordova.