Meta description

You need a clean toothbrush for good oral hygiene. Even when you take all precautions to keep the toothbrush clean, there are still many nasty substances living on it that you can’t even imagine.



Cleaning toothbrushes is something that you must consider and daily. People often settle for rinsing before and after each use and believe this should keep it safe. If proper care is not given to your toothbrush, you can find a real community of microorganisms among the bristles of your brush. In the worst case, they can end up causing us a problem. Here are some nasty things that live on your toothbrush.

Escherichia coli

Yes, even if you don’t want to believe it, some parts of the excrement from your toilet can end up on your toothbrush. That’s the problem with having both in the same room: Fecal matter can be transported to anything up to six feet away. Escherichia coli are natural inhabitants of fresh fecal matter. They can cause severe disease when ingested into the body system.

If your bathroom has the sink and the toilet in the same room. If you flush the toilet with the lid open, you can have fecal matter on everything around. This includes your toothbrush.

The main reason is that flushing the toilet aerosolizes whatever you want to go away and deposits the tiny particles of the fecal matter with Escherichia coli (or E. Colli) anywhere. E.coli can leave the feces and pass into your body in this way and cause gastrointestinal diseases. Brushing with such a nasty substance on the brush can make you sick due to gastrointestinal diseases. E.coli is the common causative organism for Gastroenteritis or infectious diarrhea.

From the third month of using toothbrushes, colonies of E.coli begin to form. This is why you have to change your toothbrush regularly. It is recommended that you change it every 3 months.

Once a colony of bacteria is formed, they are more challenging to eliminate as they begin to build an extracellular matrix. This protects them from antimicrobial agents present in the toothpaste you use, the mouthwash, and even antibiotics. This is why you cannot take an antibiotic for your dental disease and be cured instantly.

So make sure you flush with the lid on to minimize aerosolizing, wash your hands after using the toilet, and change your brush every three months. And if possible, keep your toothbrush out of the toilet after use.

Staphylococcus aureus

This bacteria lives typically in your respiratory tract and on your skin. These microorganisms are non-pathogenic in their natural environment. They cause serious illness when displaced to other parts of the body system.

It can cause nasty diseases like necrotizing fasciitis, which is a horrible disease caused by bacteria eating your skin. This disease occurs when the bacteria contact the skin through a wound. Most cases occur in people with other health problems that make them weaker to fight the S. aureus infection.

The toothbrush is always in contact with the skin and throat, and these organisms can be stored on toothbrushes. This is why you need to wash your toothbrush properly before and after use. No one wants this bug on the toothbrush anyway.

Streptococcus mutans

Streptococcus mutans is responsible for tooth decay, and this bug likes to swarm around your toothbrush. They are already in your mouth but using dirty toothbrushes can increase their proliferation, and also, your brush can serve as their public transport to move them to other places.

Food leftovers

If you don’t clean the brush well, remains of food particles from the previous day will most likely still be on your toothbrush the next day. They will serve as food for the bacteria that were already there.

The best way to avoid annoying residues on the brush is to rinse it with water before brushing and clean it well after each use. Do not settle for only a quick run through the tap to remove the paste. Before brushing your teeth, make sure you don’t have too much food left in your mouth and wash it very well before using it.

Lactobacillus and Pseudomonas

Lactobacillus and Pseudomonas have been associated with infectious pneumonia. They are common in hospital facilities where there are patients connected to respirators. These two bacteria can also hide in toothbrush bristles and cause illness. However, lactobacillus is considered a good bacteria and is used to treat diarrhea. It is also found both in food and our guts but can also cause cavities and bad teeth. Pseudomonas can cause eye infections if you wear contact lenses and don’t clean them properly.

Herpes simplex virus

If you have oral herpes, you should know that it is contagious and can remain on your toothbrush for a week. It is advisable not to share brushes with others. This virus can also hide in toothbrush bristles and transfer to other toothbrushes in contact. They are generally associated with oral herpes. They are associated with genital herpes as well.


Fungus like Candida 

A fungus can also store and proliferate in toothbrush bristles. The most common species is Candida albicans. It is known to cause oral candidiasis and is associated with high caries rates in children. Care must be taken with contact between brushes when stored in the same place.


One of the worst things that your toothbrush can have is humidity. It encourages the growth of bacteria, fungi, and yeast. The drier it is, the fewer bacteria it will have on it.

As you know that water is life, there is a rapid drop in the growth of organisms when the toothbrush begins to dry out. With this, the ideal thing would be to have two toothbrushes used every 24 hours. Also, you should not cover the bristles with the caps until the toothbrush is dry. The caps won’t let the bristles dry fast enough.


Gum diseases that cause bleeding are very common, especially gingivitis, affecting 70% of the population. This means that blood from those wounds is stored on brush bristles, and the bacteria have a way to enter your body.



Keeping bacteria and other nasty substances to a minimum on your toothbrush is easy when using the right toothbrush and maintaining good oral hygiene. A toothbrush used for one to three months has little to no concern for these problems. The longer you use the brush, the more bacteria are on it. Colonies resistant to antimicrobial medicines found in toothpaste, mouthwashes, and antibiotics can form.

Also, brushes with white or transparent bristles retain up to 50% fewer bacteria than colored ones. This is due to the lower porosity in the bristles of the former. Another recommendation is to opt for classic and simple smooth plastic handles. There are fewer places for these nasty substances to hide in simple toothbrushes.