Is the toilet plume the A-bomb of dental hygiene?

Your toilet and toothbrush might have more in common than you think.

First question: What is a toilet plume? 

Hold on to your bunny slippers everyone – if you haven't heard of the toilet plume you're in for an uncomfortable shock.

What is the toilet plume?

You can't see it with the naked eye, but once the toilet is flushed, a mushroom cloud of toilet water droplets and fecal matter particles is released into the air. These particles don't just fall back down to where they came from – on the contrary. They disperse throughout the bathroom and cover all surfaces within the vicinity – including your toothbrush and then, your smile

Let that sink in for a minute (as it sinks into your toothbrush). 

To put it delicately, your toothbrush isn't as clean as you think it is. If you've been leaving your toothbrush out on your bathroom counter for years, you know already that the toilet plume isn't going to do any real harm. Your body's immune system works to takes down any germs that enter as a result. However, it can contain viruses (like E. coli), and if your body isn't equipped to combat said viruses, you could get sick.

This plume can have some distance to it too. The spray can travel all the way out into the adjacent room or hallway as well.

You never know what your toilet is going to spray into the air - and on to your toothbrush.You never know what your toilet is going to spray into the air – and on to your toothbrush.

What can you do to keep your toothbrush clean?

Now that you know all this, it probably won't come as a surprise to you to hear that if you want to reduce the amount of floating fecal matter, you should regularly clean your toilet. In fact, you should give your whole bathroom a routine cleaning – especially any surfaces that you place your toothbrush on. You can help minimise plumes by closing the toilet seat before you flush, but know that this won't stop everything.

Consider finding a new place to keep your toothbrush when you're not using it.

At the end of the day, all you have to do is use a little extra caution before flushing the toilet. So, if you want the freshest breath, consider finding a new place to keep your toothbrush when you're not using it – like in a drawer, in your bedroom. You can always purchase a toothbrush cover as well, but if you do this, don't forget to give it a wash every now and then too.

Of course, the ultimate way to ensure you have a clean mouth is to make routine visits to City Dentists. We make it really easy for you too, as we are one of the only dentist offices that allow you to book an appointment online in Wellington!