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Should You Brush Your Teeth in the Shower? Experts Weigh In

Did you know that about 4% of Americans routinely brush their teeth in the shower?

That’s around 13 million people who are taking advantage of the time spent waiting for the conditioner to set in and saving water in the process.

But is it a good idea?

In this article, we’ll explore the arguments for and against brushing your teeth in the shower, and provide insights from experts to help you make an informed decision.

brush teeth shower

Is It Normal to Brush Your Teeth in the Shower or a Bad Idea?

The primary concern of brushing your teeth in the shower is all about hygiene and sanitation.

Brushing your teeth in the shower is not the most hygienic practice. The shower is often a breeding ground for bacteria and germs, which could lead to unwanted health problems when you expose your toothbrush to that environment.

Dr. Sarah White, a dental specialist

Having cleaned your shower recently, you probably noticed how much dirt and grime accumulate there.

There is also the possibility of mold and mildew growth.

And don’t forget the musty, nasty odor in the bathroom when you skipped your weekly cleaning.

Now, would you really want to be brushing your teeth there?

Why Do Some People Brush Teeth in the Shower?

So, if the shower is not the most sanitary place in a house, why do some people brush their teeth there?

There are several reasons.

For some, brushing in the shower seems like a great idea to save on water bills.

Other people brush their teeth in the shower because that’s their only option.

For example, when they are living in dorm rooms without a kitchenette or proper sink.

Some people choose to brush in the shower to save time during a hectic morning.

Is Brushing Teeth in the Shower Sanitary?

Considering what goes on in the shower, including the nearby toilet, brushing your teeth there doesn’t seem the most sanitary thing to do.

It’s not a secret that the shower and bath is often the grossest place in a house, usually a breeding ground for bacteria and bugs.

Brushing in the shower and leaving your toothbrush there exposes you to a greater variety of germs, which could lead to unwanted health problems.

The Pros and Cons of Brushing Teeth in the Shower

If you are like most people, you assume brushing your teeth twice a day is the most important thing.

It’s always better to brush your teeth than not brush them at all, no matter where you brush them.

And while it’s mostly true, brushing your teeth specifically in the shower has its pros and cons.

Reasons to Brush Teeth in the Shower

So, why is brushing your teeth in the shower might be a good idea:

It May Save Water

It is probably one of the most common reasons why people choose to brush their teeth in the shower.

Many believe that it conserves water, but it still depends on your habit.

Do you let the shower tap run as you brush your teeth in the shower?

If that’s the case, you’re more likely wasting than saving water.

It Could Create Less Mess

For others, brushing their teeth in the same place where they wash up or take a shower means there will be only one place that gets messy and that they have to clean afterward.

Ultimately, however, it doesn’t make a huge impact when it comes to the bathroom’s cleanliness.

It Could Save You Time

By far, this is the most common reason why some people brush their teeth in the shower.

But brushing your teeth only takes a few minutes, which is very little time saved compared to the hygiene you’re most likely sacrificing.

Reasons NOT to Brush Teeth in the Shower

Now, why would brushing your teeth in the shower be a bad idea?

You May Not be Brushing Your Teeth Thoroughly Without a Mirror

Let’s face it, brushing your teeth in front of a mirror helps a lot when it comes to brushing thoroughly.

When you brush your teeth in the shower, you don’t have a mirror to see what you’ve missed or how you’re doing.

You May Become Distracted in the Shower

There are a lot of things that could distract your teeth-brushing while in the shower.

Whether it’s the inviting, warm water flowing or you wanting to belt out your shower song, it might hinder you from dedicating at least a full two minutes to brush your teeth thoroughly.

Flossing is Impossible

If daily flossing is part of your oral hygiene, that’s almost impossible to do while in the shower.

It Encourages Bacteria Growth on Your Toothbrush

Lastly, bacteria growth is the most serious downside of brushing your teeth in the shower.

The damp and warm shower environment is the best place to encourage bacteria and mold to grow.

Those who brush in the shower most likely leave their toothbrush there as well, exposing it to harmful effects of both.

What Experts Say

It’s easy to see that the consequences of brushing your teeth in the shower far outweigh its pros.

I always recommend my patients to avoid brushing their teeth in the shower. The potential risks of brushing your teeth in the shower outweigh the benefits. It’s best to brush your teeth in the sink to ensure proper hygiene and sanitation.

Dr. Omar Yousuf, a general and cosmetic dentist

Mandy Phillips

As a frequent contributor to top US magazines and publications in the home improvement niche, Mandy has been known for sharing her expertise on how to clean, organize, and decorate bathrooms.

Additionally, Mandy has immense experience offering lifestyle tips and tricks to her readers.

About Loo Academy

At Loo Academy, our mission is to offer trusted advice for everything related to bathrooms (design ideas, plumbing advice, showering & bathing tips, remodeling guides, and more) — a place where we all spend a great deal of time.

We work closely with qualified experts and follow a thorough editing and fact-checking process before publishing content.

Published content is regularly fact-checked and revised so that the information we provide is accurate and up-to-date.

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