Toothbrush DNA Testing

  • New way to collect DNA
  • £195 for viability study
  • Non-invasive and discreet
  • Up to 35 DNA markers analysed if a profile can be retrieved
  • Award-winning UK laboratory
  • Easy sample collection

Toothbrush DNA testing service from a company you can trust

AlphaBiolabs’ in-house DNA scientists have undertaken viability studies to prove that used toothbrushes can be a good source of DNA. The method of brushing and type of toothpaste used has no effect on the results. Simply send us your used toothbrush and if we can get a DNA profile, we can perform a DNA test in the usual way (fee applies). You can see our list of DNA testing kits here.

When the toothbrushes arrive at our laboratory, the first step is to extract the DNA from the toothbrush. If a profile can be retrieved, the toothbrush DNA will be analysed for up to 35 DNA Short Tandem Repeats (STR) markers using one of our relationship testing kits. If a DNA profile cannot be retrieved from the toothbrush, we will contact you and arrange to return the cost of the DNA relationship testing kit. A refund will not be possible for the laboratory work already undertaken for the viability study.

Discreet DNA sampling method

The usual method of sample collection for an AlphaBiolabs’ DNA test is to rub a swab on the inside of the donor’s cheek to collect cheek (buccal) cells. The DNA is then extracted from the cells when the swabs are returned to the laboratory for testing.

A major advantage of the toothbrush DNA test is that samples can be collected in a subtle manner. For example, children don’t need to be made aware that a test is being undertaken. All you need to do is simply send in their regular used toothbrush. Such a discreet method may be particularly beneficial in the case of a paternity dispute, for example, where using a swab on older children could lead to awkward questions.

Call 0333 600 1300 now to order your test

Why toothbrush DNA testing?

Consent is needed for anyone supplying their DNA for testing. Anyone over the age of 16 would have to sign their own consent, but a parent or guardian with parental responsibility could sign on behalf of a child undertaking DNA testing. As such, toothbrush DNA testing is aimed at younger donors who need to be unaware of any test taking place.

Another advantage of toothbrush DNA testing is to gain a DNA profile from an individual who has passed away. This is because DNA cannot always be collected from cheek cells using a swab in deceased individuals. However, DNA can be collected from the deceased’s used toothbrush if next of kin provide consent. If a biological relationship can be proven, a legal DNA test would be needed for probate or will disputes (see Legal DNA testing and nail DNA testing). However, a DNA profile from a toothbrush DNA test could be a lasting memento of a loved one, or even turned into a piece of art.

Sample collection

You can send your dry toothbrushes into our laboratory using the sample envelope contained in the testing kit. It’s important that the toothbrushes are not cleaned before being sent.

We can also accept electric toothbrushes: just send us the head, not the whole toothbrush.

All testing performed in an award-winning UK laboratory

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a toothbrush always provide a DNA profile?

AlphaBiolabs’ geneticists have undertaken viability studies to prove that used toothbrushes can be a good source of DNA. We’ve had a high rate of success with these viability studies but in the unlikely event that yours is unsuccessful, we will contact you and arrange to return the cost of the DNA relationship testing kit. A refund will not be possible for the laboratory work already undertaken for the viability study.

Is consent needed for toothbrush DNA testing?

Consent must be provided for all toothbrush samples that are sent in to be analysed. Next of kin or another qualifying relative can sign consent for an individual who has died. A parent or guardian must provide consent for a child under 16 years of age.

Does the brushing technique make any difference?

The method of brushing has no effect on the DNA extracted. Simply use your toothbrush as you would each day.

Should toothpaste be used?

The type of toothpaste used has no effect on the DNA extracted. Simply use your toothbrush as you would each day.

What packaging should the toothbrushes be sent in?

Toothbrushes must be dry and uncleaned. 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.

How does the toothbrush DNA test work?

Once the toothbrushes have been returned to the laboratory for DNA testing the first step is to extract the DNA from the sample. If a profile can be retrieved, a DNA relationship test can be performed in the same way as mouth swab DNA testing. The DNA profile will be analysed for up to 35 DNA Short Tandem Repeats (STR) markers, making it one of the most accurate DNA tests 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. Paternity tests are completed by comparing the STR markers seen in the child with those seen in the alleged parents.

How much does the toothbrush test cost?

The cost of the viability study for DNA toothbrush testing 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.

What is the turnaround time?

Results of the viability study can be made available in up to 5 days. The results of the DNA relationship test can then be next day or same day, depending on the level of service paid for.

What are you waiting for?

Choose AlphaBiolabs now for toothbrush DNA testing.
Call AlphaBiolabs on 0333 600 1300 or email us at info@alphabiolabs.com and we will send out a testing kit.