All about toothbrush DNA testing

  • Non-invasive and discreet way to collect DNA
  • €195 for a viability study
  • Up to 45 DNA markers analysed if a profile can be retreived

Discreet sampling

DNA is usually collected using a swab that is rubbed on the inside of the donor’s cheek to collect buccal cells. Back at the laboratory, this DNA is then extracted from the cells when the swabs are returned for testing.

This method of DNA collection is a simple and painless procedure; however, toothbrush DNA testing permits samples to be collected in an even more inconspicuous manner. This would be particularly beneficial in the case of a paternity dispute, for example, where using a swab on older children could lead to awkward questions. Simply choosing to send in their regular toothbrush instead allows for more discreet sampling.

Easy DNA collection

Once an individual has passed away, DNA cannot be collected in the usual manner from their cheek cells using a swab. However, another advantage of toothbrush DNA testing is that it is an option when an individual is deceased.

The DNA can simply be collected from their used toothbrush. DNA profiles may be needed to prove a biological relationship in the case of will disputes, or to produce a lasting memento of a loved one.

Consent is still needed

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

DNA testing process

AlphaBiolabs’ in-house laboratory uses one of the newest DNA extraction techniques available to get the DNA sample from the toothbrush. If we can get a DNA profile from the toothbrush, a DNA relationship test can be performed in the same way as mouth swab DNA testing (fee applies). The DNA profile will be analysed for up to 45 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. DNA relationship tests are completed by comparing the observed DNA profiles from a group of people and considering the probability of any potential relationships. 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. To find out more about DNA toothbrush testing, please call AlphaBiolabs on 0140 29466 or email us at

Casey Randall AlphaBiolabs

Casey Randall

Head of Genetics at AlphaBiolabs

Casey joined the AlphaBiolabs team in 2012 and heads up the DNA laboratory.

An expert in DNA analysis and a member of the International Society for Forensic Genetics (ISFG), Casey holds an MSc with Distinction in DNA Profiling and a First-Class BSc with Honours in Forensic Science.

Casey is responsible for maintaining the highest quality testing standards, as well as looking for ways to further enhance the service that AlphaBiolabs provides and exploring new and innovative techniques in DNA analysis.

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