Getting ready for holiday season? Brush up on latest travel advice!
It’s that time of year again were we all start to get excited for our much needed summer holidays, Whilst packing all of the important thing we all know the saying ‘don’t forget your toothbrush’ but in light of recent research reported on BBC Breakfast on 9 January 2017 and a recent article in Dental supplies magazine has revealed that you need protect that beloved toothbrush as hotel rooms may be a hot-bed of bacterial contamination.
The bathroom in-particular is cited as a major culprit; as not only is the toilet area riddled, but the door handles and surfaces around the sink are equally dirty, since hotel housekeepers use the same cloths for multiple surfaces.
The research in the programme concurs with a recent study at the University of Manchester which showed that there are more than ten million bacteria on your toothbrush right now. That means there are considerably more bacteria on your toothbrush than your average toilet seat – which has 50 bacteria per square inch, or average public lavatory floor – which has 2 million bacteria per square inch.
Most people don’t realise that every time you flush the loo, an aerosol spray of tainted water is released with droplets able to land as far away as 10 feet. Researchers from the University of Alabama found that brushes stored in the bathroom – in other words all of them – are contaminated with faecal matter lingering in the bristles. Toothbrushes aren’t particular about whose faecal matter it is, so it’s likely it won’t just be your own that is going into your mouth every time you clean your teeth. (I expect you will never flush the toilet with the lid up again!).
It is likely your toothbrush will have been exposed to numerous invisible contaminants in the months that you use it, including a high proportion of pathogenic nasties such as E.coli and staphylococcal. Airborne bacteria are not the only pollutants which sully your toothbrush. If it touches another, germs and bacteria can pass from surface to surface, spreading the likes of oral herpes (cold sores), candida (oral thrush) and the HPV virus.
So it may be a great time to refresh your tooth brush for home as well as your travel brush!
Passport to a healthy holiday
So what’s the best way to keep your toothbrush protected during your travels?
- Never place your toothbrush on the bathroom counter, as housekeepers often use the same cloths to wipe down multiple surfaces.
- Keep anything that goes in your mouth (or on your face) in your travel bag.
- Hide your toothbrush if you are concerned that the housekeeper may use it.
- Flush the toilet with the seat lid down.
And if in doubt please feel free to ask your general Dentist next time you visit us for a check-up… Let’s keep our mouths healthy and our smiles protected!