Another day, another disturbing finding to worry about: Researchers at Quinnipiac University studied the toothbrushes of students who use shared bathrooms, and found that 60 percent of them "tested positive for fecal matter," and that there was an 80 percent chance the bacteria came from someone other than the toothbrush's owner. Or, as Science of Us puts it, "your roommate's microscopic poop particles could be on your toothbrush." Ugh.
While the findings are preliminary and the students in question shared bathrooms with an average of nine other people (i.e. more roommates than you have, we hope!), it's still not the least horrifying thing we've heard this week. While our first instinct was to rush out and buy a toothbrush cover, researchers actually caution against those, as they encourage bacterial growth by keeping the bristles moist in between uses.
Instead, they recommend a few basic precautions: Don't share your toothbrush with anyone, don't store it in a closed container (allow it to air dry instead), replace your toothbrush every three or four months. Also, rinse thoroughly with tap water after each use. Oh, and maybe never share a bathroom with anyone ever again.