What is the grossest item in your bathroom?     If you keep your toothbrush too close to the toilet, you are basically brushing your teeth with what's in your toilet.  When you flush with the lid open, contaminated water vapor can land on the surfaces of your bathroom, including your toothbrush.  The average toothbrush holds 10 million microbes!  There are other ways your toothbrush can get cooties.

When you brush your teeth you are getting rid of bacteria, food junk, and blood and saliva that could be infected with a virus.  If you don't rinse the toothbrush bristles properly, you will be putting the cooties back in your mouth the next time you brush.  If your toothbrush is kept in a cup with others, it can also cause cross contamination.

Some of the germs hanging out on toothbrushes include influenza viruses, herpes simplex 1, staphylococcus, along with some others.  Your toothbrush could be hanging to more cooties than your toilet seat!

Here are a few tips to keep your toothbrush and mouth free of harmful bacteria:

Don't share toothbrushes and keep different family members' toothbrushes at least an inch apart.

Rinse thoroughly after using.

Let the toothbrush air dry after using it, in an upright position.  Don't put it in a small moist, closed container.

If you have had a cold or the flu, replace your toothbrush.

If your immune system is compromised, rinse your brush with antibacterial mouthwash before brushing to reduce the germs passed to your toothbrush.

Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months or when the bristles start breaking down, to ensure the best cleaning power.