Why You Should Never Store Your Toothbrush in Your Medicine Cabinet

Colorful toothbrushes sit in a clear glass.

Some people love a pristine, clear bathroom countertop. They utilize their medicine cabinets to house everything—including their toothbrush. But should they be?

While keeping your toothbrush in the medicine cabinet seems like a good idea, it could actually lead to bacterial growth.

Mia L. Geisinger, D.D.S, M.S., associate professor and director of the Advanced Education Program in Periodontology at the University of Alabama, told Self that because medicine cabinets are small and sealed off, they can form a humid environment that allows pathogens to grow. This means there is a possibility that your toothbrush could be susceptible to bacteria and mold.

Geisinger did, however, tell the outlet that there’s no evidence that storing your toothbrush in your medicine cabinet will actually cause pathogen growth. It’s simply an environment where it could happen. Continuing to store your toothbrush there is still an option if you really like it and aren’t concerned.

Ideally, though, you should keep your toothbrush stored in an area that allows it to completely dry out and stand upright. Typically, this is your countertop in a toothbrush holder, but you will want to be aware of toilet plume.

Toilet plume is the tiny particles that come up from your toilet when it’s flushed, and yes, it can include urine and feces. If you do decide to store your toothbrush on your counter, you should probably institute a lid-down flush.

If you’ve been storing your toothbrush in the medicine cabinet, you might want to rethink it based on your comfort level. But hey, you can always just disinfect your toothbrush.

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