Health on Female First

Health on Female First

Whilst it's common knowledge that the kitchen sponge is a breeding ground for germs, it's less widely known that your toothbrush may be exposed to invisible bathroom bugs, and could be contaminated by up to 10 million bacteria including harmful E.coli and staphylococcal species, according to researchers from the University of Manchester.

Fortunately, hot on the heels of its runaway success in the U.S., the Steripod toothbrush protector is now available in the UK. Easy to use, Steripod simply clips on to the head of your manual or electric toothbrush, creating a patented 'pod' that physically protects it against environmental contamination.

What's more, it contains thymol - used in many mouthwashes and oral antiseptics - with active vapours to help keep your toothbrush fresh and clean. And Steripod has been specially designed so that air can circulate freely which means your toothbrush can dry naturally.

TV cleaning guru Aggie MacKenzie is working with Steripod to create awareness of good toothbrush hygiene. She says, "Most people don't realise that every time you flush the loo, an aerosol spray of tainted water is released and droplets can land up to 10 feet away. The net result is that unless protected your toothbrush will most likely be gathering miniscule amount of fecal matter. You can eliminate this possibility at a stroke by encasing your brush inside a Steripod. It's also really handy for both travel and popping in your gym bag."

Environmental contamination from airborne particles is also a potential risk for the many thousands of people who pop a toothbrush into their gym bag, office locker, make-up pouch or wash bag for use on-the-go, so Steripod is the perfect companion while you are travelling, as well as for everyday use.

So other than ensuring you have a Steripod, what's the best way to keep your toothbrush clean and fresh? TV dentist Dr Mervyn Druian - the principal dentist on Extreme Makeovers UK, former dentist to the stars on X Factor and the pioneer behind tooth whitening and veneers in the UK recommends a 5-step approach:

1. Don't Flush Where You Brush

If you must store your toothbrush near your toilet make sure you close the lid when you flush to minimise the dispersal of contaminated water droplets, and encourage your family to do the same.

2. Rinse Thoroughly After Use

Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly under running water after use, making sure that all toothpaste has been removed.

3. Store It Upright

Store it in an upright position - never in a bathroom cabinet where air cannot circulate as this could promote bacterial growth.

4. Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly

Make sure you replace your toothbrush and Steripod every three months - buy them at the same time. And if you've been suffering with a cold or flu it's a good idea to replace your toothbrush

5. Don't Share It

This should go without saying, but never be tempted to share a toothbrush, even with your loved ones.

So don't take a chance on your family's health - join the pod squad! Suitable for all the family and fun for children to use, Steripod comes in a wide range of colours. A pack of two is RRP £4.99 from larger Boots stores,,, Boyes Stores and elected independent pharmacies.

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