Discreet, reliable DNA testing direct from our award-winning laboratory
What is a toothbrush DNA test?
A toothbrush DNA test is a type of viability study, which involves extracting a DNA profile from a toothbrush for the purpose of performing a DNA relationship test.
A DNA relationship test is usually performed by collecting cheek swab samples from two or more sample donors and comparing each person’s DNA profile to verify a biological relationship.
However, with a toothbrush DNA test, our geneticists will attempt to extract a DNA profile from a used toothbrush instead of a cheek swab sample.
If a DNA profile can be retrieved from the toothbrush, a DNA relationship test can then be performed by analysing and comparing the DNA profile from the toothbrush with the DNA profiles of the other test participants obtained via cheek swabs.
If a DNA profile cannot be retrieved from the toothbrush, we will contact you to refund the cost of your DNA relationship test.
Please note a refund will not be possible for the laboratory work already undertaken while performing the viability study on the toothbrush.
How does toothbrush DNA testing work?
Once you have placed your order, your test kit will be sent out immediately in discreet, plain packaging.
The kit will contain everything you need to return your toothbrush(es) to our laboratory, and to perform the subsequent DNA relationship test using cheek swabs, assuming a profile can be extracted from the toothbrush(es).
Here’s how an AlphaBiolabs Toothbrush DNA test works:
Order your Toothbrush DNA test for £195
This cost covers a viability study for one toothbrush. Our scientists will work to extract a DNA profile from the toothbrush provided. If you want to send more than one toothbrush (e.g. for multiple children) please select this option while placing your order (additional fee applies)
- You will also need to choose the DNA relationship test that you want (e.g. paternity, maternity, sibling). Please note that this DNA relationship test can ONLY be performed if a DNA profile can be extracted from the toothbrush
- Follow the instructions provided in your test kit to collect cheek swab samples and return them to our laboratory, together with the used toothbrush
- Once received, our scientists will work to extract a DNA profile from the toothbrush provided
- If a DNA profile can be retrieved from the toothbrush, we can then proceed with your chosen DNA relationship test
- We will analyse and compare the cheek swab DNA samples with the DNA profile from the toothbrush, to determine whether the tested individuals are related
Over ONE MILLION genetic tests performed since 2004
When is toothbrush DNA testing useful?
You may want a Toothbrush DNA test if:
You are looking to perform a DNA relationship test (e.g. paternity test) on a slightly older child, where the use of a cheek swab could lead to awkward questions.
A toothbrush DNA test is ideal if you want to collect a DNA sample in a subtle manner, from a child under 16 years of age.
Any person aged 16 or over must provide their own consent (a signature) for their DNA sample to be used in testing.
However, for children under 16 years of age, a parent or guardian with parental responsibility can provide consent on behalf of the child undertaking the DNA test.
You want to perform a DNA relationship test on someone who has passed away.
It is not possible to collect a cheek swab sample from a deceased person. However, DNA can be collected from the deceased’s toothbrush if the next of kin provide consent.
If a DNA profile for the deceased person can be extracted from the toothbrush, this profile can then be used to verify a biological relationship to a living relative, using a DNA relationship test (and cheek swabs from the living relative).
Please note: our Toothbrush DNA test is for peace of mind only and cannot be used in legal proceedings. If you need a DNA test for use in court, you will need a legal DNA test.
You can send your used, dry toothbrushes to our laboratory using the sample envelope provided in your test kit.
It’s important that the toothbrushes are not cleaned before being sent. The method of brushing and type of toothpaste used will not impact the results.
We can also accept electric toothbrushes, however, please just send the toothbrush head. Do not send the whole toothbrush.
Your test kit will contain everything you need to collect cheek swab samples for your subsequent DNA relationship test.
Please note, the DNA relationship test can only be performed if a viable DNA profile can be retrieved from the toothbrush.
Up to 45 DNA markers analysed for a 100% accurate result
Frequently Asked Questions
AlphaBiolabs’ geneticists have undertaken viability studies to prove that used toothbrushes can be a good source of DNA.
We have had a high rate of success with these viability studies. However, in the unlikely event that a viable DNA profile cannot be retrieved from your toothbrush, we will contact you and arrange to refund the cost of the DNA relationship test.
Please note, a refund will not be possible for the laboratory work already undertaken on the toothbrush for the viability study.
Consent must be provided for all toothbrush samples that are sent in to be analysed, and for cheek swab samples that are sent in for the subsequent DNA relationship test.
If the toothbrush belongs to a person who has passed away, next of kin or another qualifying relative must provide consent for their DNA to be used in testing.
For children under 16 years of age, consent can be provided by a parent or guardian with parental responsibility. Any person aged 16 or over must provide their own consent (a signature) for their DNA to be used in testing.
The method of brushing has no effect on the DNA extracted. Simply use your toothbrush as you would each day.
The type of toothpaste used has no effect on the DNA extracted. Simply use your toothbrush as you would each day.
Toothbrushes must have been regularly used by the sample donor. Toothbrushes must be dry; do not rinse or clean the toothbrush prior to sending.
They need to be sent to the laboratory in the sample envelope contained in the testing kit. Do not place them in plastic bags or sandwich bags.
Once the toothbrush arrives at the laboratory for DNA testing, the first step is to extract the DNA profile from the sample.
If a profile can be retrieved, a DNA relationship test can then be performed using cheek swabs from the other individual(s) taking part in the test, and comparing the DNA profile with that found in the toothbrush.
Our DNA relationship tests analyse up to 45 DNA Short Tandem Repeat (STR) markers – double the industry standard – for the most accurate and reliable DNA testing on the market.
STR markers are specific locations on a chromosome made up of sequences of repeated DNA. These STR markers are highly variable in length between individuals. Relationship tests are completed by comparing the observed DNA profiles from a group of people and considering the probability of any potential relationships. A paternity test, for example, is performed by comparing the STR markers seen in the child with those of the alleged father.
The cost of the viability study using a toothbrush (Toothbrush DNA test) is £195.
The price of the required DNA relationship test then needs to be added on top of this if a DNA profile can be retrieved from the toothbrush.
Results of the viability study can be made available in up to 5 days.
The results of the DNA relationship test can then be made available the next day* or same day*, depending on which option you chose when placing your order.
*working days from when the DNA samples arrive at our laboratory, before 10am.