There’s a very good chance that bacteria from poo is on your toothbrush if you share a bathroom.
And, to make matters worse, it is probably not bacteria from your poo.
But a technology company claims their new gadget is here to save the day for germophobes, promising to clean your toothbrush and rid it of 99.9 percent of its bacteria.
A start-up called Puretta is designing a toothbrush holder that cleans toothbrushes using a medical-grade UV light.
The plastic product will hold four toothbrushes, a razor, a tube of toothpaste and three packs of floss and attach to your bathroom wall and the company predicts it will be available by November.
A new toothbrush-cleaning tool by Puretta is supposed to be able to banish 99.9 percent of bacteria from up to four toothbrushes at a time using a UV light
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU REPLACE YOUR TOOTHBRUSH?
The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every three to four months.
Replacing your toothbrush is important not only for cleanliness purposes but also because frayed bristles do not clean your teeth thoroughly enough.
The ADA says that a child’s toothbrush might need to be replaced more often than an adult’s and that people should inspect their toothbrushes regularly to check for wear or frayed bristles.
Other ADA tips for toothbrush hygiene:
- Do not share a toothbrush with another person
- Rinse your toothbrush with tap water after each use
- Store your brush in an upright position
- Allow it to air dry after each use
Bacteria from bowel movements can travel to a person’s toothbrush when toilet water splashes out of the toilet bowl when it is flushed.
A 2015 study found that 60 percent of toothbrushes located in a shared bathroom have fecal bacteria on them, regardless of the method by which they are stored.
The study found that there is an 80 percent chance that, if a toothbrush has fecal bacteria on it, it is from someone else’s bowel movements, not those from the toothbrush’s owner.
And this is puts you at risk for infection: if your toothbrush is infected with your own fecal matter, it is not as dangerous as it is if it is infected with someone else’s.
‘The main concern is not with the presence of your own fecal matter on your toothbrush but, rather, when a toothbrush is contaminated with fecal matter from someone else, which contains bacteria, viruses or parasites that are not part of your normal flora,’ study researcher Lauren Aber said.
The study, from the American Society for Microbiology, found that using a toothbrush cover does not protect your brush from bacteria.
Rather, toothbrush covers actually foster the growth of bacteria, the study said.
‘Using a toothbrush cover…actually creates an environment where bacteria are better suited to grow by keeping the bristles moist and not allowing the head of the toothbrush to dry out in between uses,’ Aber said.
The study also said that a contaminated toothbrush might cause an oral cavity infection and that ‘sanitization and storage practices of a toothbrush are very important to the potential bacteria present on a toothbrush’.
Puretta, which is in the Kickstarter stages right now, is trying to solve this problem.
When toothbrushes or razors are placed in a Puretta, a UV light sterilizes them. A motion detector makes sure that when a person gets within one meter of the device, the UV light it is shut off.
Purettas will be available to consumers in November and will come in black and white
The product is 100 percent solar powered and is charged by any time of lighting, indoor included, which means that it will not have to be placed near an outlet or frequently plugged in.
This can make things easy if your bathroom sink receives direct sunlight but, if not, you might have to leave your light on when you are not in the room to charge it.
A Puretta can be attached to a wall near your sink by a special type of tape, which comes with the device, or it can be held in place with a nail or screw.
After five years of use, the product’s UV light will go out, but it is replaceable. The device will include a six month warranty and will come in black or white.
Puretta started raising funds for the project only this month. It plans to cease raising funds next month, ship its products to financial backers in October and be able to sell Purettas by November.
The cost of the device has not yet been announced.