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How Your Toothbrush Could Be Getting You Sick

BY East Cobb Family Dentistry

If you are sick, most likely you didn't catch something from your toothbrush. Even though your toothbrush may have bacteria living on it, your body's natural antibodies will protect you, particularly from viral illnesses.In the case of bacterial illnesses, such as strep throat, it is best to replace your toothbrush and also to replace your toothpaste. If your toothpaste is shared with others, replacing the open tube with a fresh one will help keep the bacteria from spreading.We come in contact with countless bacterias every day and most are harmless, but to ensure that the bacterial growth on your toothbrush stays at a minimum, we at East Cobb Dentistry recommend you follow these steps.

  1. Most bathrooms are a small, enclosed area. When you flush the toilet, make sure that the lid is closed. The action of the flushing can produce a fine mist that propels bacteria into the air. If your toothbrush is on the counter next to the toilet, it can possibly become contaminated.
  2. Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly with hot water after each use.
  3. Store your toothbrush in a standing position with the bristles up so that it can dry out properly. Our Marietta dentists know this is the most effective method to reduce bacterial growth on your toothbrush.
  4. Don't share your toothbrush. Sharing your toothbrush can introduce bacteria into your system that you may not be able to defend yourself against. Have designated toothbrushes for each member of your family. It's also a good idea for each person to have access to their own toothpaste.
  5. Replace your toothbrush about every three to six months. Replacing your toothbrush not only helps reduce the spread if germs, but a worn toothbrush will not work effectively to remove bacteria from your teeth and gums.

Your dentist in Marietta, Ga., can offer further advice on the type of toothbrush you should use, how to use one properly and how to store your toothbrush between uses. By taking a few minor precautions, you can greatly reduce the chances of coming in contact with harmful bacteria from your toothbrush.

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