Archive for December, 2014

The flu season and your toothbrush….

downloadCold and flu season is upon us. Believe me, I know. I was out with the flu last week! So what about your toothbrush? Should you throw it out during or after you’ve recovered from an illness?
We recommend replacing your toothbrush every month or two, but that has more to do with the efficacy of the bristles than a concern for germs.

As far as germs go, there are 2 types of infection; Viral and Bacterial.

Once you’ve been infected with a particular strain of a virus, your body develops antibodies that make the likelihood of re-infection very low. Those antibodies will protect you from re-infecting yourself even if the virus is still living on your toothbrush. With that said, it could be harmful to a family member that has not yet contracted the virus. Therefore, keep your toothbrush tucked away in a safe place away from family members that may want to tidy up around you. Don’t let your toothbrush come into contact with theirs. Refrain from using a couples/family toothbrush (1)

Reinfection via bacteria is much more possible. Illnesses such strep throat, for example, are the result of an attack from bacteria such as a colony of streptococcal bacteria. These bacteria might remain on your toothbrush long enough to give you a second case of the illness. Some toothpastes, however, contain anti-bacterial compounds that would help protect you.

Washing your hands frequently with hot soapy water remains the best way to prevent spreading the flu. Teach children to wash their hands. Have kids use soap and warm water, and rub hands for 20 to 30 seconds. A good rule of thumb is singing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song twice while scrubbing, to keep track of the time.

Add comment December 23, 2014