Whether you keep your toothbrush next to the toilet or in the medicine cabinet, studies have shown that on every toothbrush tested evidence of fecal matter was present. When the toilet bowl flushes, the bacteria from the toilet sprays out of the bowl into the air, landing on countertops, floors, etc.; which can spread the e. coli bacteria all around the room.
Storing your toothbrush in a closed container or toothbrush holder is not the answer either. Even the germs from your mouth get on your toothbrush causing bacteria build-up that can lead to periodontal disease and ultimately, a heart attack.
So what is the right way to protect your toothbrush from the millions of germs it is exposed to? Wash your hands before using your toothbrush. Washing hands lowers the amount of exposure your toothbrush has to microorganisms considerably. Dipping the toothbrush in boiling water for 10 seconds will sanitize the bristles. And replacing your toothbrush at least every three months is also a good, hygienic way of keeping germs at bay, especially if you brush your teeth three times a day as recommended.