The majority of toothbrushes contain evidence of faecal matter and harbour dangerous bacteria, new research has found.
A study conducted in Quinnipiac University found that 60pc of toothbrushes contain traces of faeces and have the potential to harbour dangerous bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus which is the cause of MRSA.
Toothbrushes which sit side-by-side at the edge of the sink can also be harbourers of the herpes virus.
The research found that faeces found on toothbrushes often was not that of its owner, after the scientists analysed the tooth brushes in the communal bathrooms of Quinnipiac University.
The study was lead by Lauren Aber of Quinnipiac University who analysed toothbrushes in the communal bathrooms within the college, used by nine people each.
“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,” she said.
“Using a toothbrush cover does not 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 said.
Meanwhile a recent study revealed that 24pc of Irish adults skip brushing their teeth at least one morning a week despite the fact that it is an important part of self-confidence for most of us.
The research carried out by Oral B revealed that 75pc of Irish people are wary of bad breath should they happen to doss on brushing, while 22pc would be reluctant to smile.
Perhaps even more disgusting than the lack of teeth brushing is the fact that one in three Irish adults has shared a tooth brush with a friend or relative.