I’m a dentist and here’s why you should never run your toothbrush under water before brushing – it’s an unnecessary step
A dentist has issued a warning to people to stop running their toothbrush under the tap before using it.
Dr Sahil Patel, who works in London’s Harley Street, said most of his patients complete this step, which impacts how well their toothpaste works.
Speaking to The Sun, the expert highlighted how wetting your toothbrush ‘dilutes’ the formula of your chosen product – rendering it less effective.
Describing how this habit could wreak havoc on a patient’s dental hygiene, he explained: ‘Toothpaste already has the right amount of moisture.
‘If it’s wet, it makes it foam up faster and makes you spit it out sooner.’
Dr Sahil Patel, who works in Harley Street, said soaking your toothbrush in water ‘dilutes’ your product and renders it less effective
What’s more, Dr Patel says he finds his patients can be too heavy-handed when they’re brushing in the morning and evening.
Urging people not to hold their brushes in a fist, Dr Patel said they shouldn’t be ‘scrubbing’ at their teeth.
He added: ‘Bristles should be straight against the teeth and you should have a soft touch.’
On top of this, Dr Patel said that people should begin by brushing the back of their teeth – as this area is commonly overlooked.
‘If you start at the front and do the back last, you’re more likely to stop and put your brush down, missing the back or not cleaning the back properly,’ he added.
Earlier this year, dentist Dr Payal Bhalla also warned people not to brush their teeth in the shower.
Dr Bhalla – who is clinical director of Quest Dental in Ipswich – says this habit not only reduces the life-span of your toothbrush but also increases your chances of picking up an illness too.
Speaking to the Metro, Dr Bhalla highlighted how regular exposure to scalding hot water in the shower breaks down the bristles.
This means people who may think they’re saving time with this approach actually have to replace their toothbrush more often as a result.
Meanwhile, the expert warned of ‘the transfer of germs from other parts of your body to your mouth’ when brushing your teeth in the shower.
She continued: ‘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.’
What’s more, the dentist urged people against leaving their toothbrushes in the shower in between washes too.
She added: ‘Bacteria can build up on your toothbrush and potentially lead to oral health issues.’
Instead, she recommended keeping your toothbrush in a dry and clean place and away from sites of potential cross-contamination – such as shared toilets or sinks.