Connecticut College Says You Have Poop On Your Toothbrush

A college in Connecticut, Qunnipiac University, has some bad news about your toothbrush: it has feces on it. To be specific, the study says that people who share a bathroom with other people are at risk of having said other people’s poop on their toothbrushes. Gross.

Some toothbrushes, probably covered in feces. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.
Some toothbrushes, probably covered in feces.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.

Lauren Aber, a graduate student at Quinnipiac University, has some, let’s call it “interesting,” news about the poop on your toothbrush:

“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.”

For the record, I’d kind of prefer to have no poop on my toothbrush, even my own. But I guess researchers say brushing your teeth with your own fecal matter is okay…?

Oh, and if you were thinking you might just start using one of those toothbrush covers, Lauren Aber has even more bad news:

“Using a toothbrush cover doesn’t protect a toothbrush from bacterial growth but 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 between uses.”

Aber’s study, which collected samples from college bathrooms used by 9 or more students, show that 60% of the toothbrushes collected had fecal matter on them, and of those, 80% had poop on them that came from another person using the bathroom.

Most of us don’t share a bathroom with 9 or more people (unless you are, in fact, living in a college dorm), but the results are still? shocking disgusting. I share a bathroom with my husband and daughter, and even though I love them both, I’d rather not have their poop in my mouth every time I brush. Maybe I’ll start brushing in the kitchen…