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Quiz: Is your toothbrush tainted?
by Staff
Your toothbrush cleans your teeth, but what cleans your toothbrush? And does it even need to be cleaned? Sink your pearly whites into this quiz and test your toothbrush sanitation knowledge.

Which of the following contains more than a million different bacteria?

  • your mouthwash
  • your dental floss
  • your mouth

How often should you replace your toothbrush?

  • every three to four months
  • every six months
  • annually

Where should you store your toothbrush?

  • in a dark drawer
  • in a plastic toothbrush container
  • in an open place with plenty of light

Which of the following is commonly used to decontaminate a toothbrush?

  • ultraviolet light
  • steam
  • electricity

Which household appliance is often used to disinfect a toothbrush?

  • dishwasher
  • toaster oven
  • coffeepot

Which of these has been proven to remove all bacteria on a toothbrush?

  • ultraviolet light
  • microwave
  • mouthwash
  • all of the above
  • none of the above

A person who disinfects several toothbrushes by dipping them in a glass of mouthwash should be careful to ______.

  • run the brushes under water before using them
  • use a separate glass for each brush
  • leave the brushes in the glass overnight

What should you do to keep your toothbrush clean?

  • rinse it thoroughly after brushing
  • hang it upside down
  • keep it in the box

What does the term "sanitization" mean?

  • to remove 85 percent of all bacteria
  • to remove 99.9 percent of bacteria
  • to remove 100 percent of bacteria

Which of the following groups of people is recommended to disinfect their toothbrushes?

  • people with compromised immune systems
  • people with braces or dentures
  • elderly men

When is a toothbrush likely to be completely germ free?

  • fresh out of the box
  • if it has been disinfected
  • never

True or false: Using a toothbrush that has not been disinfected introduces harmful bacteria into the brusher's mouth.

  • true
  • false

A person wanting to use mouthwash to disinfect a toothbrush should be sure that the mouthwash label says it's _____.

  • alcohol-free
  • all natural
  • antiseptic

What does the term "sterilize" mean?

  • to destroy all living organisms
  • to kill 75 percent of living organisms
  • to kill 50 percent of living organisms

How should you store more than one toothbrush in the same area?

  • Don't let them touch.
  • Cover the brush heads.
  • Put in them in a container in a drawer.

Why do health professionals say it's not necessary to disinfect a toothbrush?

  • Toothbrushes are self-cleaning.
  • It's impossible to completely remove all germs from a toothbrush.
  • The human body naturally defends itself from infection.

Under what circumstance should a person replace his toothbrush sooner than every three to four months?

  • if the person doesn't regularly disinfect the brush
  • if the bristles are damaged
  • if the person has a lot of dental work

Which of these is NOT a common way to disinfect a toothbrush?

  • boiling
  • baking
  • freezing

Which of the following is NOT a good way to minimize germs on your toothbrush?

  • Replace your toothbrush after you've had a cold.
  • Close the lid when you flush the toilet.
  • Keep your toothbrush head covered with a cap.

Why do some health professionals advise against disinfecting a toothbrush?

  • It's difficult to disinfect the brush.
  • It can damage the brush.
  • The disinfecting methods don't work.