Just before our college student patients head back to the dorm, we’d like to share that researchers have found that more than 60% of toothbrushes collected from students’ shared bathrooms tested positive for fecal matter.
For the more than half of toothbrushes that contained fecal matter, the fecal matter was someone else’s. Another person’s fecal matter will have bacteria, viruses or parasites that are not part of another person’s normal gut flora. Researchers suggest that these microcontaminants aren’t necessarily due to some kind of foul play, but likely just from being left in the open air on countertops near flushing toilets.
In addition, the study found no difference in the toothbrushes of users who brush with cold or hot water or who rinse with antibacterial mouthwash. The key is to keep the toothbrush covered, but to also allow it to fully dry between cleanings so additional bacterias won’t grow.
Good luck to our student patients headed back to campus this fall!
Whiteman, H. (2015, June 6). “Fecal matter found on more than 60% of toothbrushes in shared bathrooms.” Medical News Today. Retrieved from