Should we throw our toothbrush away after we have been sick?

It depends on what’s been ailing you. if you’ve had a cold, you’re unlikely to reinfect yourself by using the same toothbrush, says Dr. Aileen Marty, professor of infectious diseases at Miami’s Herbert Werthelm College of Medicine. That’s because most viral infections trigger the production of antibodies that provide immunity to the cold virus that made you sick. However, that may not be the case for the flu virus. In addition, some bacterial infections, such as strep throat, can cause repeat infections. If you’re unsure what’s been making your family sick, consider disinfection your brushes. Dr. Marty recommends soaking your brush for an hour in a glass of mouthwash containing alcohol or chlorhexidine (both kill germs), then rinsing it thoroughly to make it good as new. you can also control the spread of germs by ensuring your family’s toothbrushes aren’t touching when stored.

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