Gross things you 100 per cent (well probably) need to stop doing

The Project’s Kate Langbroek had many people running for the hills with talk of a communal family toothbrush cup… but, there are worse things.

When it comes to icky habits, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who can say, hand on heart, they’ve never indulged. Some are even good for you.

Burping out loud after a meal for example, relieves your stomach of gassy air which, if you don’t belch, can cause indigestion. Okay then.

Here are a few more gross habits many people have, but may want to think about giving up.

Communal toothbrushes

The reveal came when The Project panel were discussing comedian Sarah Silverman sharing a toothbrush with partner Rory.

“Why is it gross?” Kate asked. “Peter and I routinely share the same toothbrush, we drifted into it.”

And then: “Now the whole family has a communal cup in our bathroom.

“We’ve got enough toothbrushes for everyone, but not the will to allocate colours.”

Dr Mikaela Chinotti, dentist and oral health promoter for the Australian Dentist Association, says sharing toothbrushes or even holders is a no.

“You don’t want damp toothbrushes to be touching each other because everyone has different bacteria, so keep yours in a holder away from others,” Dr Chinotti says.

Re-wearing your undies

The way you care for your “smalls” can impact their germy-ness, including how often you rotate them.

As a common breeding ground for bacteria, don’t be tempted to re-wear, advises naturopath Chloe Chivers.

“Change underwear at least once a day, maybe twice in warm humid weather,” Chloe says.

“Clean in a warm-hot wash with natural laundry detergent and hang in the sun because the UV rays have disinfectant properties that can help kill bacteria.”

Kissing your dog (or letting them share your bed)

We. Love. Our. Dogs. We cuddle them, let them lick our faces, kiss them and let them wag their way up onto the bed for a snuggle.

As good as that might make us feel, we need to stop says Dr Zac Turner, who warns the urban myth that a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s is exactly that, a myth.

“We watch our pooches eat their own sick, rotten food found in the park and yes, lick their butts clean,” Dr Turner says.

“Even if you think your pet has immaculate hygiene, there’s still the risk for the transmission of diseases, pathogens and germs, so keep your affection to a pat and wash your hands!”

Popping pimples

Despite the fact there’s an army of “popaholics” out there — people who enjoy watching videos of blackhead extractions and other pimple-popping phenomena — we say, ewwww.

Squeezing the life out of your blackheads may be something you feel like you just have to do once you’ve felt that bump the size of Mars on your forehead, but uh-uh.

Not only difficult for others to watch, it’s not good for your skin.

Touching, picking and popping acne can make it worse, spreading bacteria and leaving scars.

Peeing in the shower

We might not admit it to our peers, but three quarters of us regularly wee in the shower according to a News Corp reader survey.

Sure, it seems convenient and you can maybe even justify it as a water-saving technique, but urogynaecologist Dr Teresa Irwin says we need to stop it.

In a TikTok video, Dr Irwin explained weeing in the shower can train your brain to want to piddle every time you hear running water.

Pelvic-floor therapist Dr Alicia Jeffery-Thomas also used TikTok to warn peeing in the shower is particularly an issue for women, explaining the female body is not designed to urinate standing up and it could result in not properly emptying your bladder.

Eating food off the floor

Ever heard of the “two-second rule” or, if you’re a little more relaxed in your parenting, the “five-minute rule”? We’ve got mixed feelings on this one.

Yes, grossness because, floors mean dirty shoes, pets and potentially a whole lot of other stuff (detritus from cleaning products, bugs… and more).

But food is expensive. And you went to the trouble of finding/cooking it.

Dr Turner, who “although generally a total food picker-upper-er” says the decision to “chew or chuck” comes down to a fine balance.

“Did the food bounce or splat? Quick analysis of the state of the floor? Did anyone see and are they prepared to take the plunge? And most importantly, how much do I like to cook?”

Food for thought indeed.

Written by Liz McGrath.