This is a safe space, right? So we can all admit that we’ve brushed our teeth in the shower, at least once. Okay, maybe a couple of times. When you’re in a rush, it’s the smartest way to kill two birds with one stone.
However, while brushing your teeth in the shower might not be bad for your teeth, it could lead to other health issues.
Payal Bhalla, Lead Dentist and Clinical Director of Quest Dental explains why.
If you like your showers piping hot like me, then brushing your teeth in the shower could do serious damage to your toothbrush.
The hot water in the shower can cause the bristles of your toothbrush to soften,
which can make it less effective in cleaning your teeth. In general, we should really be brushing our teeth with an electric toothbrush.
“Whilst most electric toothbrushes are waterproof, I wouldn’t recommend submerging them in water as it could damage the mechanism and bristles,” Bhalla says.
Yes, brushing your teeth in the shower can save you some time in the morning but it’s not the most hygienic task.
“Sharing the same water source for brushing your teeth and cleaning your
body can lead to the transfer of germs from other parts of your body to your mouth,” Bhalla explains.
This in turn could compromise your immune system and lead to unwanted illness.
Bhalia says that “the showerhead can harbour bacteria, and when you brush your teeth under the showerhead, you may be exposing your toothbrush to those bacteria, again increasing your likelihood of illness.”
Additionally, if you share the shower with someone else, there is a risk of cross- contamination.
“Water and toothpaste can make the shower floor slippery, which can increase the risk of falls and injuries,” Bhalia says.
Can I leave my toothbrush in the shower?
You really shouldn’t be leaving your toothbrush in the shower for hygiene reasons. “As moisture in the shower can create an ideal environment for bacteria to grow,” Bhalia explains.
Leaving your toothbrush in the shower can expose it to bacteria that may be present in the shower. “Bacteria can build up on your toothbrush and potentially lead to oral health issues,” says Bhalia.
You should store your toothbrush in a dry, clean place and away from potential
sources of contamination, such as the toilet or sink. Bhalia also says that “it’s best to replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if the bristles become frayed or worn.”
But doesn’t it save water?
You might think you saving water when you brush your teeth in the shower but it’s not really the most effective way to conserve water.
“While brushing your teeth in the shower, you may end up using more water than necessary. For example, if you leave the water running while you brush your teeth, you may waste a significant amount of water,” Bhalia says.
On the other hand, if you turn off the water while you brush your teeth in the shower, you may end up using less water than you would at the sink.
“A more effective way to save water while brushing your teeth is to turn off the faucet while you brush at the sink,” Bhalia says.