The 1 Toothbrush Habit That Could Be Making You Unwell, According To A Dentist

"A wet toothbrush creates an ideal environment for bacteria, mould, and mildew to thrive."
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Picture the scene. It’s bedtime, you’ve finished brushing your teeth, you’ve skipped putting a cap on the toothbrush because that’s unhygienic, so now what do you do? Pop it back in the holder?

Well, according to one dentist, if you haven’t dried your toothbrush between using it and storing it away until morning, you’ve skipped a vital step and it could actually be making you unwell.

Dr Abdul Azizi, Principal Dentist of Harley Private Dental said: “Drying your toothbrush after use is crucial because a wet toothbrush creates an ideal environment for bacteria, mould, and mildew to thrive.

“This can lead to an increased risk of oral infections, such as gingivitis and periodontitis, and can potentially reinfect you with illness-causing pathogens.”

Why you should dry your toothbrush after every use

Wet toothbrushes can promote bacteria growth

Dr Azizi warned that a wet toothbrush provides an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive. Moisture, combined with leftover food particles and toothpaste, creates a breeding ground for bacteria, which can lead to an increased risk of oral infections and diseases.


Wet toothbrushes can lead to bad odours and tastes

A wet toothbrush can develop a bad odour and taste over time due to bacterial growth.

Dr Azizi warned: “This can make the experience of brushing your teeth unpleasant and might deter you from maintaining good oral hygiene.”

Continuously wet bristles weaken over time

Dr Azizi said: “Continuous exposure to moisture can weaken the bristles of your toothbrush, making them less effective at cleaning your teeth.

“This can reduce the overall effectiveness of your brushing routine, leading to poor oral hygiene.”


Wet toothbrushes can lead to continuous reinfection

Dr Azizi said: “Using a wet toothbrush that harbours bacteria or viruses can cause you to reinfect yourself, especially after recovering from an illness.”

The dentist added: “If your toothbrush is stored in close proximity to other toothbrushes or in a shared environment, harmful microorganisms can spread between brushes, increasing the risk of cross-contamination.”

To minimise these risks, it is important to thoroughly rinse your toothbrush after each use, shake off excess water, and store it in an upright position in a well-ventilated area where it can air dry completely.