Can your toothbrush make you sick?

The dreaded cold and flu season is here again! This raises a common question around our office: should your replace your toothbrush if you’ve been sick?

Since the flu is a viral infection, you develop antibodies once you’ve been infected. This helps prevent you from catching the same illness twice. Even for bacterial infections, the likelihood of becoming re-infected from your toothbrush is fairly slim for minor illnesses like the common cold. Also, toothpaste frequently contains antibacterial compounds, which further decreases your chances of re-infection.

The American Dental Association recommends the following tips for toothbrush care:

• Do not share toothbrushes, especially if you are sick
• Allow the brush to air dry after each use
• Store the toothbrush in an upright position to allow water to drain and dry faster
• Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Worn bristles are less effective in properly cleaning your teeth, and can actually be damaging to teeth if used too long!

We hope these tips help! Feel free to give us a call or ask us on Facebook if you have any questions!

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