With our busy lives, it’s understandable to look for ways to multitask and save precious time.
However, combining tasks within your morning routine may not be the best idea, at least when it comes to health.
Many of us kill two birds with one stone by brushing our teeth in the shower, but the moist and warm conditions can create a whole host of issues you may not have considered.
According to Payal Bhalla, Lead Dentist and Clinical Director of Quest Dental, hot water can break down the bristles of your toothbrush and reduce its cleaning effectiveness.
Cross-contamination can also occur when you use the same water source to wash your body and your mouth, leading to ‘the transfer of germs from other parts of your body to your mouth’ and potentially compromising your immune system.
Payal adds: ‘The showerhead can harbour bacteria, and when you brush your teeth under the showerhead, you may be exposing your toothbrush to those bacteria, again increasing your likelihood of illness.’
For those in house-shares, there’s an increased risk of exposing your toothbrush to someone else’s bacteria. Plus, toothpaste residue can make surfaces slippery – not ideal if it causes a fall.
These problems are amplified if you leave your brush in the shower between uses.
‘Bacteria can build up on your toothbrush and potentially lead to oral health issues,’ says Payal, who recommends keeping yours in a dry, clean place ‘away from potential sources of contamination, such as the toilet or sink.’
Although some people believe they’re saving water by merging these personal hygiene tasks, this may not actually be the case.
Payal explains: ‘While brushing your teeth in the shower, you may end up using more water than necessary. For example, if you leave the water running while you brush your teeth, you may waste a significant amount of water…
‘A more effective way to save water while brushing your teeth is to turn off the faucet while you brush at the sink.
‘This simple habit can save a significant amount of water over time, and it doesn’t require any additional usage from taking a shower.’
If time is a concern, why not make the most of those two minutes in a different way?
While brushing your teeth (at the sink) in the morning, Payal recommends these time effective activities:
You might also want to consider brushing your teeth before breakfast, not after, and timing your plaque-busting sessions to ensure you’re spending long enough polishing your pearly whites.
It’s a lot to remember, but less hassle than a trip to the dentist. May the floss be with you.
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