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Family Care Dental Clinic

Toothbrush Care in Flu Season

Toothbrush Care in Flu Season

It’s that time of the year when it seems like everyone we know has had a cold, flu or some other nasty bug. After being sick, we’ll do anything to avoid getting reinfected. So, does that mean we need to toss out the toothbrush?

Yes, It’d Be A Great Idea

After being exposed to a virus, the body creates antibodies to fight off the virus. When you recover from that particular virus, your body no longer remains susceptible to that strain.

As for re-exposure, that virus on the toothbrush, lip balm, mascara, sheets or towels won’t make you sick again. But if other viruses and bacteria linger on these items, a new illness can develop.

Flu, staph, strep, e-coli, and yeast commonly live on toothbrushes. There are so many bacteria that can reside on a toothbrush; therefore, it is always best to get rid of it once you have been infected with some sort of viral or bacterial illness.

And, replacing your toothbrush after illness reduces the chance that your nasty brush spreads its germs to anyone else’s nearby brushes.

Keeping Them Clean

Most of us simply rinse the toothbrush head once we’re done brushing. But a more thorough rinse in warm water ensures that food debris and leftover toothpaste won’t remain in the bristles.

If you dip your toothbrush or toothbrush head into boiling water for 5 to 10 seconds, it will effectively sanitize the bristles. This is an effective way to get rid of illness like strep, boiling your toothbrush will help you get better faster. Because boiling water may damage the bristles, you should inspect and replace your toothbrush more often.

While the American Dental Association (ADA) notes there is no clinical evidence that soaking a toothbrush in antibacterial mouthwash has a positive effect, it won’t damage your toothbrush. If you want to sanitize, toothbrush heads should be immersed for about 15 minutes in mouthwash. Any longer could damage the bristles. And don’t share or reuse that mouthwash, it defeats the purpose.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises against using your dishwasher or microwave to disinfect toothbrushes, because they damage the toothbrush.

Steps Further

If someone in your family is sick or is at a higher risk of infection, taking some preventive steps may help guard against a problem. Replacing toothbrushes more often, buying disposable toothbrushes and using antibacterial mouthwash to rinse and soak could offer some benefit.

If you choose to try a UV toothbrush sanitizer, the product should be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Keep in mind that a UV sanitizer will not remove all germs. And because the ultraviolet light may deteriorate the bristles, you should inspect and replace your toothbrush more often.

Contact Family Care Dental Clinic for your consultation today!

Located in the heart of North Vancouver, BC, Family Care Dental Clinic is a group of passionate dentists and dental experts who are committed to providing patients with exceptional dental care in a modern and relaxing environment. We at Family Care Dental Clinic offer our clients a wide range of comprehensive dental services for the whole family. Call (604) 987-3545 or write us at info@familycaredentalclinic.com to schedule an appointment with a member of our excellent team!

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