You might be tempted to wait until you get a toothbrush at your next dental cleaning to switch toothbrushes, but if you knew what might be lurking in the brush you might consider switching brushes more often.
1. E. Coli from fecal matter- Most people keep their toothbrushes in their bathrooms, a room that in all likelihood also contains a toilet. When the toilet flushes microscopic bits of water and fecal matter are aerosolized into the air from the force of the flush. These and the bacteria they carry can land on your toothbrush.
2. Streptococcus mutans- This is the bacteria that is responsible for tooth decay. It makes sense that you’d find some this on your toothbrush but you’d want to reduce the amount that calls your toothbrush home. One study has shown that clear bristled toothbrushes carry 50% less of the bacteria since the material it’s made out of is less porous than colored bristles, giving the bacteria less space to hide in.
3. Moisture- At first it might seems as though it makes perfect sense that a toothbrush would be moist, considering it’s used to brush teeth and is rinsed. But if a toothbrush is constantly moist, say if it’s covered and has no way to get dried out after use, the moisture can promote the growth of unwanted bacteria and fungi.