The Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut found that using a shared bathroom may greatly increase the risk of fecal germs on your toothbrush.   Dr Holly toothbrushes in jarThe study utilized students who shared communal bathrooms.  (The study was presented at the American Society for Microbiology annual meeting in New Orleans).

Now the investigators studied how toothbrushes were stored, i.e., keeping them covered (actually made things worse as bacteria love to grow in damp dark places) or openly stored.  Or how the toothbrush was cleaned before or after use.

Now my concern with the study is:  did anyone look at whether the toilet seat cover was put down before people flushed their feces down the toilet?

This is a huge and very obvious issue, but I can’t find a single article so far that indicates these “scientists” bothered to look at it as an important variable in their study!!!

When a toilet is flushed, there is a huge amount of pressure pushed into the toilet bowl in order to create the necessary vacuum to pull everything out of the toilet.

Well, that huge amount of pressure pushes a huge amount of bacteria and fecal matter into the air!!!  If the toilet is not covered with the toilet seat, then that contamination goes through out the bathroom which is why the bathrooms are considered the dirtiest place in the house.

Yet, I cannot find any indication that these scientists??, did not address whether the toilet covers were placed down before flushing.  Either a very poorly designed study; scientists that are not thinking.  Now, I did not find the actual article, only the presentation, and this was the source I used :

Beyond, the seemingly poor scientific design and analysis, I am always amazed at how many doctors’ offices and dental offices do not have toilet seat covers….are they so ignorant of the fact that their bathrooms are huge storehouses of everyone’s bacteria and fecal matter that have utilized the facilities?

I have a sign over the toilet in the guest bathroom – Please put down the toilet cover – and while some people cooperate – others don’t – probably never read the sign.

Dr Holly bathroom with a closed toilet area enclosed toilet room

But I make a habit out of checking the bathroom, when guests leave, to see if I need to clean it – because the seat was left up.

In my bathroom, the toilet cover is always down  AND the toilet is 12 feet away from the toothbrushes, which in fact are kept in a drawer, not on the counter.  I think my toothbrushes are pretty safe, what about yours?

If you are designing your own home or remodelling your bathroom and have enough space, keep the toilet in its own little room; or as far away from the cabinets as possible.  If you don’t have a large bathroom – just attempt not to put the toilet right next to the sink.  Remember, you can still put the toilet seat cover down before you flush AND keep your toothbrushes in the medicine cabinet.  Dr Holly toilet & sink close together

Get in the habit of not just putting the toilet seat down for the females in the family, BUT putting the toilet cover down as well!!!

Here’s to your health!

For more information, contact: Dr Holly at

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