Is it okay to brush teeth in the shower? Expert weighs in on the risks

Is it okay to brush teeth in the shower? Expert weighs in on the risks

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Though brushing your teeth in the shower may not pose an immediate threat to your health, there may still be hazards involved. Payal Bhalla, Lead dentist and clinical director at Quest Dental, shared some of the reasons the habit may best be avoided.

According to Payal, one of the key reasons to avoid brushing teeth while showering concerns bacteria, as using the same water source for a toothbrush and cleaning your body presents an opportunity for cross-contamination.

The expert explained: “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.

“This could then compromise your immune system and lead to unwanted illness.

“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.”

The water Quality and Health Council reported in 2019 that over one million bacteria cells per square centimetre have been reported in showerheads.

“If you share the shower with someone there is a risk of cross-contamination,” added Payal.

“Sharing a toothbrush or exposing your toothbrush to someone else’s bacteria can lead to the spread of germs.”

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The expert explains that it is equally important not to leave a toothbrush in the shower, as this may also pose a hygiene hazard.

The moisture inside showers creates an ideal environment for bacteria growth, which can contaminate the bristles of a toothbrush.

“Bacteria can build up on your toothbrush and potentially lead to oral health issues.

“Furthermore if you share a shower with others, leaving your toothbrush in the shower can increase the risk of cross-contamination of germs.”

Aside from bacterial concerns, the water temperature of showers is far from ideal for maintaining the texture of the bristles of a toothbrush.

What’s more, it may not help individuals save water, contrary to popular belief.

When brushing teeth in the shower you’re likely to end up using more water than necessary, explained Bhalla.

She continued: “A more effective way to save water while brushing your teeth is to turn off the faucet while you brush at the sink.

“This simple habit can save a significant amount of water over time, and it doesn’t require any additional water usage from taking a shower.”

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