It is possible to cut a few minutes off of your personal care regimen by brushing your teeth while you are in the shower, making this practice a winner from the point of view of efficiency. But from a hygienic point of view, does it make the most sense?
According to a poll by Delta Dental, around 4% of American adults report cleaning their teeth while in the shower.
You could conserve some water by doing so. According to the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, brushing one’s teeth at the sink with the water running while the faucet is open uses around four gallons of water over a week.
On the other hand, there are sometimes shady repercussions. Continue reading to uncover the advantages and disadvantages of brushing your teeth while in the shower.
What Happens to Your Teeth When You Brush Them While You’re in the Shower
Much research has yet to be done on what happens to your mouth if you brush your teeth while in the shower.
Research published in the edition of PNAS Nexus dated November 2022 demonstrated that a significant number of shower heads hold high quantities of bacteria, including Mycobacterium avium, which, when breathed or ingested, can result in lung illnesses.
Brushing your teeth at the sink is recommended by several dental professionals for this reason. Michael Wei, DDS, a dentist from Manhattan Cosmetic Dentist in New York City, believes that it is possible for the germs that are on your shower head to be taken up by the shower stream and end up in your mouth when you are brushing your teeth. Michael Wei said this.
Others, however, agree that it may be easier to clean one’s teeth when washing their hair or when they are in the shower.
“Using something like a WaterPik (like this one on Amazon, $59.99) or water flosser might be even easier to use in the shower without making a mess of the bathroom,” says Richard M. Lipari, DDS, a dentist who practices at Lipari and Mangiameli Dentistry in Chappaqua, New York. Lipari and Mangiameli Dentistry are located in Chappaqua.
However, there is one topic on which the two dentists may reach a consensus. You must leave your toothbrush out of the bathroom when bathing or brushing your teeth between sessions.
According to Dr. Lipari, “The wet environment provides ideal conditions for bacteria to grow,” thus, it is crucial to ensure that your toothbrush can dry in an acceptable and timely manner.
According to Dr. Wei, you should take your toothbrush out of the shower and place it in a special holder or cup designed just for toothbrushes. (You’ll want to position the toothbrush holder such that it’s not anywhere near the bowl.)
Additional Things to Keep in Mind Regarding Brushing
Have you settled on the idea of brushing your teeth as you shower? Further guidance should be kept in mind, in addition to the fact that your toothbrush should be kept outside of the storm.
Before washing your face with soap, you should always make it a point to brush your teeth. According to Dr. Lipari, if you brush your teeth first and then wash your face and body afterward, you can remove any toothpaste or saliva that may have gotten on your skin.
Dr. Wei advises that you should also have a clean cup of water drawn from the sink within arm’s reach so that you may rinse both your mouth and your toothbrush. (You should keep it on the vanity and reach for it whenever required.) When you need to get the toothpaste out of your mouth, you may do it without putting your mouth in contact with the possibly contaminated water in the shower.
The third advice is to remember to floss once you get out of the shower. Also, while you are “brushing up” on your toothbrushing routine, check to see that you are truly brushing your teeth correctly.
Even though most of us believe we have it down, making mistakes when brushing our teeth is more common than you may imagine.
How Dangerous Is It, Anyway, to Brush Your Teeth While You’re in the Shower?
Suppose you brush your teeth while in the shower, you might be exposing yourself to germs that could be detrimental to your oral and general health. Therefore, if you want to err on the side of safety, brushing your teeth at the sink is preferable.
If you choose to continue brushing your teeth in the shower (because, let’s face it, it’s convenient), just be sure to put your toothbrush away in a dry place when you’re through.