Oral care probiotics are a good idea for a number of reasons. They help reduce bad breath. They can banish the entrenched bacteria that give rise to tooth decay. And, of course, they simply make your mouth a cleaner, healthier place. This latter point could be especially important in the workplace, considering the need for cleanliness there.
Following a recent investigation into the dirtiest spots at work, researchers have revealed that most of these locations get touched by hands, which in turn bring microbes to the face, eyes and mouth. Yuck.
Cubicles and kitchens are a-crawl with cooties
Not that we didn't think the office was a filthy place, but the new report shows it to be especially packed with germs. Researchers from the University of Arizona began by swabbing thousands of spots in different workplaces, from law firms and manufacturing plants to healthcare centers.
The team then processed the swabs via a special instrument, which is designed to measure levels of ATP (or adenosine triphosphate) on surfaces. Higher levels of ATP indicate more organic life growing on things.
Researchers found that several spots most commonly had an ATP score higher than 300, indicating major bacterial presence. According to Medical News Today, these included kitchen sink taps, microwave doors, keyboards, fridge doors and the buttons on water coolers and snack machines.
Sink faucet handles were the most likely spot to be dirty, with 75 percent hitting the 300 mark.
Mouths are much worse
Of course, no matter how gross your workplace is, your mouth is undoubtedly grosser. An unclean oral environment can harbor billions of halitosis-causing microbes, many of which are no doubt accidentally picked up at work.
It's unclear just how often bacteria make their way from our hands to our mouths, but consider this: Many sources estimate that we touch our faces once every three minutes, if not more.
If even one of those touches is on the lips or tongue, it's all over. That's the only opening your workplace's microbes need to get into your mouth, where they can dig in and start creating odor.
To eliminate these critters, try picking up a specialty oral care probiotics kit. Such products painlessly replace your mouth's nasty flora with harmless, odor-free bacteria, giving you better breath and healthier gums in the process.