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Is Your Toothbrush Making You Sick?

Jaclyn Hughes

Well, you’ve done it. Congrats! You’ve suffered through the majority of your winter season colds and spring is on its way! But, your work isn’t done….just yet. Did you know that if you continue to use the same toothbrush you were using while you were sick that you could be making yourself susceptible to developing another cold? Or even the flu?

Youth Health Magazine reports that germs can hang around thriving off of your toothbrush for days; even weeks. If you’re one of those people that enjoys using a toothbrush cover, you may want to discontinue using it, at least when you are sick. Studies have shown that bacteria loves to expand and grow in environments where there is moisture and not a lot of air. A toothbrush cover is the perfect place for bacteria to grow inside all of those bristles just in time for you to start feeling better.

Experts also believe that contamination is simple to do when others are sharing a tube of toothpaste as well. If your spouse is sick and you’re sharing a communal tube of paste together, odds are you have a very good chance of getting sick. You can either use separate tubes to avoid contamination, or sterilize the toothpaste lid each time after use. Sounds a bit redundant, but if you want to stay healthy before going away for vacation, or having to make some plans for work travel, it may be totally worth the effort.

Some types of illnesses that are commonly spread through germs from others you reside with are; the flu, strep throat, and infections such as staph, or yeast infections. These in particular, can all live happily inside your toothbrush. Pretty gross, right? As if the aforementioned reasons weren’t enough to encourage you to change your toothbrush frequently, most dentists recommend changing them out every three months. You’re also supposed to store your toothbrush a minimum of three feet away from the toilet, which can be challenging for those with incredibly small bathrooms.

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