Find yourself brushing your teeth whilst showering? You’re not alone. With our lives becoming increasingly busier and the morning rush a real thing – people often try to kill 2 birds with 1 stone.
Brushing your teeth in the shower may not necessarily be bad for your teeth, but it can lead to other issues. Here Payal Bhalla, Lead Dentist and Clinical Director of Quest Dental shares some reasons why brushing your teeth in the shower may not be the best idea:
“Water temperature: Hot water in the shower can cause the bristles of your toothbrush to soften, which can make it less effective in cleaning your teeth. Furthermore, it is recommended by dental experts to use an electric toothbrush for a more thorough clean, and whilst most electric toothbrushes are waterproof, I wouldn’t recommend submerging them in water as it could damage the mechanism and bristles.
Cross-contamination: 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. If you share the shower with someone else, there is a risk of cross-contamination. Sharing a toothbrush or exposing your toothbrush to someone else’s bacteria can lead to the spread of germs.
Slippery floor: Water and toothpaste can make the shower floor slippery, which can increase the risk of falls and injuries.”
Can I leave my toothbrush in the shower?
“It is not recommended to leave your toothbrush in the shower for hygiene reasons, as moisture in the shower can create an ideal environment for bacteria to grow, and leaving your toothbrush in the shower can expose it to bacteria that may be present in the shower. 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.
The heat and humidity in the shower can cause the bristles of your toothbrush to soften, reducing its effectiveness in cleaning your teeth. If you use any products in the shower, such as shampoo or body wash, leaving your toothbrush in the shower can expose it to these chemicals, which can be harmful if ingested. Leaving your toothbrush in the shower you are also running the risk of someone else using it by accident (or on purpose) if you live in a shared house, this is super unhygienic and compromising your health.
It is recommended to store your toothbrush in a dry, clean place and away from potential sources of contamination, such as the toilet or sink. Additionally, it’s best to replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if the bristles become frayed or worn.”
But doesnt it save water?
“Brushing your teeth in the shower may seem like a way to save water, but in reality, it may not be the most effective way to conserve water.
While brushing your teeth in the shower, you may end up using more water than necessary. For example, if you leave the water running while you brush your teeth, you may waste a significant amount of water.
On the other hand, if you turn off the water while you brush your teeth in the shower, you may end up using less water than you would at the sink. However, you would still be using the same amount of water to take your shower, which could offset any water savings from brushing your teeth in the shower.
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. Additionally, fixing any leaks in your home can also help reduce water waste.”
While brushing your teeth in the shower may be convenient, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks and take steps to minimise them. If you do choose to brush your teeth in the shower, make sure to keep your toothbrush away from the showerhead and avoid sharing it with others.”
What can I do whilst brushing my teeth in the morning to be more time effective?
“There are several things you can do while brushing your teeth in the morning to make the most of your time:
- Stretch: Use the time while you brush your teeth to stretch your arms, legs, neck, and back. This will help you start the day feeling more energised and alert.
- Listen to Music or Podcasts: If you have a smart speaker in your bathroom or a phone holder, you can use the time to catch up on your favourite podcasts, audiobooks or listen to music.
- Plan your day: Use the time to mentally plan your day ahead. Think about your goals for the day, what you need to get done, and how you can prioritise your tasks.
- Meditate: Brushing your teeth can also be a good time to practise mindfulness and meditation. Focus on your breath and try to clear your mind.
- Practise good posture: Stand up straight and engage your core while you brush your teeth. This can help improve your posture and prevent back pain
- Multitask: Do some light chores like putting away dishes, folding laundry or wiping down countertops while you brush your teeth.”