(WJW) — We’ve all needed to multi-task on those rushed mornings before flying out the door. But is brushing your teeth in the shower doing more harm than good?
Dentists across North America say there are three reasons it’s better to take the time to step out of the shower and clean those pearly whites at the bathroom sink, according to a report from FOX News.
Heat breaks down toothbrush bristles
High heat and steam aren’t good for the longevity of your toothbrush, according to Parul Dua Makkar, doctor of dental surgery and owner of PDM Family Dental in Jericho, New York.
“Exposing a toothbrush to heat and humidity weakens the bristles and make it ineffective,” Makkar told Fox News Digital. “Always store a toothbrush in a cool dry place, away from the shower and the toilet as bacteria love to multiply in wet and humid conditions.”
The Centers for Disease Control say to replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months, or sooner if the bristles look worn out. This is because a worn-out toothbrush may not work as well, not because it might carry more germs.
Showers create a cross-contamination zone
Arun Narang, a Toronto-based cosmetic and restorative dentist at Dr. Arun Narang & Associates Smile by Design said that people who choose to brush their teeth in the shower increase their risk of harmful cross-contamination, according to the report.
“Brushing your teeth in the shower may save time, but it exposes you to more bacteria,” Narang said. “Tubs and showers typically are ideal places for bacteria to grow because they are constantly wet, warm and sometimes shared with other family members.”
Narang explained that when you’re standing at the sink you aren’t standing in it like you are in a shower, which produces a steamy, damp environment. A toothbrush at the sink has time to dry between uses.
Toothpaste makes for a slippery shower floor
Fatima Khan, a doctor of dental medicine at Altus Dental in Houston, Texas said that while some dental professionals warn that tooth-cleaning products can increase a person’s chance of an accidental slip and fall, this can also happen with other products, including body wash, shampoos and conditioners.
“The fall risk may be the same as with other products,” Khan said.
But if you’re not willing to give up that morning routine of brushing your teeth in the shower, Amber Bonnaig, doctor of dental surgery and dental director of DentaQuest Georgia has some advice.
“For those who brush their teeth in the shower, the most important thing to remember is to store the toothbrush outside of the shower to prevent bacteria, which can grow in the wet shower, from transferring to the toothbrush and eventually the mouth,” Bonnaig said.