Researchers have discovered that as many as 1.2 million bacteria can live on a single toothbrush. According to the New York State Dental Journal, 70% of people have used toothbrushes that are contaminated with these bacteria – including the flu virus, staph bacteria, E. coli, yeast fungus and strep virus. Unfortunately, you can get sick by using a germy toothbrush.
When to Replace Your Toothbrush After Being Sick
It sounds strange that something that’s used to keep you healthy and clean can make you sick. This is why when you’re sick, you should wash your hands before and after you brush your teeth. Of course, you shouldn’t share your toothbrush with anyone else while you’re sick. Even storing your toothbrush with someone else’s at this time isn’t a good idea.
In fact, you should consider submerging your toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide or alcohol-based mouthwash. You should even use a different tube of toothpaste if you or someone else in your family is sick. Make sure you throw both your toothbrush and your toothpaste away once you’re healthy again.
Once you’re over your illness, it’s a good idea to also stop by our office and have your teeth cleaned. While in our chair you can feel free to discuss other good ways to keep your toothbrush clean – both while sick and after you’re sick. We’ll remind you of the importance of changing your toothbrush every three months or when the bristles become worn.
There are also lesser known things that we can teach you as well like the importance of storing your toothbrush away from the toilet and closing the lid before flushing it. Another thing a lot of people don’t know is that they should let their toothbrush air-dry before putting a cap on its head. We look forward to talking to you so schedule your appointment today.