Tooth-Brushing In The Shower: Totally Gross Or Totally Okay?
It's a debate you can really sink your teeth into.
Just like the debate around whether pineapple -- a FRUIT -- should be on a pizza, or if tomato sauce should live in the fridge or pantry, the correct location to brush one's teeth is dividing popular opinion in the United States, and no doubt here in Aus as well.
The question that's getting everyone all riled up is, should dental hygiene be restricted to the bathroom sink, or is it okay to brush your pearly whites while taking a shower?
Let's talk figures first. About 4% of Americans, or about 15 million people, brush most frequently in the shower according to a 2014 survey, with those aged 18 to 44 twice as likely as older Americans to brush while they wash.
So what's the big deal?
Shower-brushing advocates claim that the practice not only saves water, but time. Plus, they say that it's simply a joyous experience.
Critics are not so kind. Giving your teeth a clean while doing the same to your body -- and hair -- is just plain nasty, according to some.
Let's break down the pros and cons of this controversial hygiene habit. The argument that multitasking in the shower saves precious minutes rings true in our opinion. Cleaning your teeth while letting your conditioner soak into your hair, for example, means that you kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.
On the other hand, brushing in the shower means you can't check your technique in the bathroom mirror, which some dentists say might mean that you fail to scrub some crucial spots in your mouth.
We've done some math and claims that shower brushing saves water seems legit. While a ten-minute shower uses about 150 to 200 litres of water, teeth brushing at a sink uses about five litres per minute.
Even though a ten-minute sink teeth brushing session would only use 50 litres -- up to a quarter of what you'd use in the shower -- you're still better off combining the two activities if you want to limit water wastage.
That's only if you keep your shower to the ten-minute mark, otherwise you start eating into that 50 litres you're trying to save. Maths, eh.
Then there's the whole 'gross' factor. Some people would rather stick pins in their eyes than clean their teeth at the same time they're washing their pits and bits. Fair enough.
The bathroom, especially the shower, is certainly a damp environment which we know bacteria adores, so if you do choose to brush while you shower it's best to store your toothbrush at the basin and not with your shampoo in the shower caddy.
So which camp are you in? Are you a shower or sink brusher? Were you once a staunch advocate for one side before switching to the other and never looking back?
We can't wait to tackle next week's taboo tooth brushing topic: whether or not it's okay to brush while on the loo. Stay tuned!
Feature image: Getty.