Should You Brush Your Teeth in the Shower?

Is this Time-Saving Idea Really a Good Idea?

You’re rushing through your morning shower, thinking about everything you need to do to get yourself out the door, when it hits you: you could skip a step if you just brushed your teeth in the shower. Instead of quickly drying off, grabbing the toothpaste and brush, and hastily brushing your teeth after your shower, you could have already been a step ahead, just by stocking your shower with a brush and some toothpaste. It’s so obvious, you might wonder why you never thought of it before.

But, like so many brilliant ideas, in-shower teeth brushing is actually not a very good one. You can be doing your teeth and gums more harm than the good those saved minutes will get you.

Your Multitasking is Distracting
The most obvious benefit to brushing your teeth in the shower is that it lets you multitask your morning or evening routine. But, it’s important to dedicate two straight minutes to brushing your teeth, followed by flossing. When you’re trying to get a lot accomplished at once, you’re not going to be as focused on your teeth as you should be.

Even if you are sure you can dedicate two minutes of your shower to focused teeth brushing, doing so in the shower—as opposed to in front of your sink—will hinder your success at thorough brushing. You need to be in front of the mirror so you can watch, and not just feel, where you are brushing. The toothbrush needs to be angled properly and reach every tooth; without a mirror, it’s unlikely you’ll achieve the careful brushing you need.

If you brush in the shower, you’re also more likely to skip regular flossing because you’re not already stationed at the bathroom sink. And flossing is a super-important step in your oral hygiene routine! Brushing without flossing is like putting on your sneakers without tying the laces. You can walk around okay, but it would be a lot better if they were tied, right?

We hate to even say it, but we’re talking to you, Mr. or Ms. Efficiency, the kind of person who is looking to streamline their routines and avoid excess steps whenever possible—if your toothbrush and toothpaste reside in your shower, you may be less likely to brush twice daily, unless you’re also showering twice daily. Eek!

Blame it on the Bacteria
If you’re not sold on the reasons above, there’s another reason to step up to the sink when it’s time to brush your teeth. If there’s one thing bacteria love, it’s a humid room. Bacteria thrive in warm environments, and the extra humidity provided by your shower makes a showerhead a really desirable place for bacteria to hang out. This means that the water that comes out of your showerhead isn’t water that you should drink—or in this case, brush your teeth in. It’s perfectly safe to wash your skin with this water, but it’s not a good idea to ingest it. You’d want to clean your showerhead very, very regularly to get the cleanest possible water for your mouth.

Toothpaste in the Sink, Better for Feet Everywhere
One final thought on in-shower teeth brushing? You’re going to be spitting that toothpaste on the floor, which is where your feet are. Have you ever stepped in a glob of wet toothpaste? It’s not the best. Trust us.

Saddle Up to the Sink
The next time you’re running behind schedule, curse your snooze button and not your oral hygiene routine. Remember to dedicate two uninterrupted minutes to brushing your teeth at least twice per day. It’s two minutes to stop thinking about everything else you have to do, and can think about getting your teeth clean. Think of it as a guided meditation, from molar to molar.

While you’re refocusing your routine, think about upgrading your toothbrush with