Toothbrush Etiquette

Brushing your teeth is a very important part of having good oral hygiene and is a considerate gesture for those around you! We all have our routine and place of keeping the toothbrush but this article is an interesting (and sometimes frightening) look at what can live on your toothbrush if you aren’t careful. Simple things like keeping your toothbrush away from the toilet, (you’ll see why!) and swapping it out regularly with a new one are essential to keep from not only putting gross bacteria in your mouth but avoiding contracting disease from something that seems so innocent!


You do it morning and night and maybe even after meals. It makes your mouth feel clean enough to kiss and helps you smile without feeling self-conscious. Yet if you’re like most people, the number of germs that are lurking on your toothbrush will make you re-think that minty-fresh feeling.

According to a study at the University of Manchester in England, the average toothbrush can contain 10 million or more bacteria—including E. coli (the stuff that lives in our intestines and can cause mild diarrhea—or even vomiting and severe abdominal cramps, if it’s a nasty strain) and Staph (which are mostly harmless but can cause infections). What’s more, at any given time there are 100 to 200 species of oral bacteria living in your mouth—bacteria that end up on your toothbrush.

There’s more to worry about if you store your toothbrush in a cute little cup on the bathroom sink. “If your toothbrush is stored within three feet of the toilet, the droplets of water that spray up after you flush remain airborne long enough to settle on surfaces throughout the bathroom—including your toothbrush—which means you may be cleaning your teeth with what you thought you flushed down the toilet,” says Charles Gerba, Ph.D., a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona.

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Aesthetic Options from 3M Unitek Featured on Lifetime Network

Designing Spaces_Dr Alvetro

As part of a commitment to furthering interest in aesthetic treatment, 3M Unitek is helping raise awareness for modern orthodontic capabilities by teaming up with award-winning Lifetime® Network show Designing Spaces® for a special “Kids Spaces”-themed episode. The episode is designed to help teens and their parents get excited about orthodontic treatment, and facilitates conversations between orthodontists and their patients about new solutions that make treatment more efficient, comfortable and aesthetic.


The episode, titled, “Exploring the Options in Braces Technology: An Education for Today’s Parents,” includes commentary from Dr. Lisa Alvetro, whose kid-friendly office is highlighted, as well as 3M Unitek’s global professional services manager, Ann Bruck, RDH. It initially aired on the Lifetime Network in March and will re-air periodically. It can also be viewed online at The segment covers a number of 3M Unitek technologies, including:


  • Clarity™ ADVANCED Ceramic Braces, which combine aesthetics and high performance
  • Incognito™ Hidden Braces, giving patients invisible, convenient and comfortable orthodontic care
  • APC™ Flash-Free Adhesive, which lets orthodontists move directly from bracket placement to bracket cure without removing adhesive flash
  • Forsus™ Appliances, a reliable and patient-friendly option to bulky headgear

Designing Spaces_Patients

To learn more about 3M Unitek solutions, visit