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You deposit germs from your mouth onto your toothbrush daily. Then you leave it to dry in a damp bathroom, possibly across from the toilet, where the bristles can become contaminated with the airborne bacteria released with every flush—heard enough? “You can get sick from using your own toothbrush and you can keep reinfecting yourself,” says Reynolds, noting that bugs such as E. coli, Listeria, and Strep—not to mention mold—may be lurking between the bristles.

Clean up: Allow toothbrushes to air-dry in an upright holder (away from the toilet, if possible). You can also significantly reduce the number of germs wafting through the bathroom by closing the lid when you flush. Once a week, run toothbrushes—and the holder if it’s safe—through the dishwasher’s sanitizing cycle to kill bacteria. Replace brushes every three months or after you’ve been ill.

(John Gollop/Getty Images)

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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