Being sick is never pleasant, and we often take whatever steps are necessary to recover quickly. However, there is one thing that many people do not know: you should change your toothbrush after being sick. In this article, we’ll cover why this is necessary, as well as best practices for cleaning and disinfecting your toothbrush.
The risks of reinfection linked to the use of a contaminated toothbrush
When you are sick, your toothbrush can become a veritable breeding ground for viruses and bacteria. Indeed, these micro-organisms can remain on the bristles of the brush for several days or even weeks. So, by continuing to use this toothbrush after being cured, you risk reinfecting yourself with the same germs and therefore falling ill again.
Viruses and bacteria on the toothbrush
There are many types of viruses and bacteria that can get on your toothbrush during illness. Among the most common are:
- The rhinovirus, responsible for the common cold,
- flu virus,
- The coronavirus,
- Bacteria that cause throat infections, such as streptococcus.
These microorganisms can survive for several days on the bristles of your toothbrushwhich increases the chances of re-infection if you continue to use it after being cured.
Changing your toothbrush: when and how?
To avoid any reinfection, it is recommended to change your toothbrush as soon as you are cured of your disease. Here are some tips for choosing your new toothbrush and eliminating all the germs present:
- Choose a toothbrush with soft, rounded bristles so as not to attack your gums,
- Choose a small and compact brush head to easily reach all areas of the mouth,
- Opt for an ergonomic handle to have a good grip when brushing.
Clean and disinfect your toothbrush
Even if you change your toothbrush regularly, it is important to clean and disinfect it regularly to limit the proliferation of germs. Here are some tips to achieve this:
- Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after each use and be sure to remove all toothpaste residue and food debris,
- Regularly dip the head of your toothbrush in a bath of warm water mixed with white vinegar to kill germs,
- Use a protective case to avoid contact with other toothbrushes and thus limit the risk of cross-contamination,
- Put your toothbrush in an upright position so that it dries quickly, since viruses and bacteria thrive more in a humid environment.
Other measures to take to limit the spread of germs
Changing your toothbrush after being sick is essential, but it is not the only measure to take to avoid reinfection. Here are some additional tips to limit the proliferation of microorganisms:
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, especially after using the toilet, before eating, or after coughing or sneezing.
- Regularly clean surfaces that you touch frequently, such as door handles, cell phones or computer keyboards,
- Ventilate your home daily to renew the air and limit the concentration of germs,
- Avoid sharing your personal items, such as towels or glasses, with other people.
By following these tips, you will significantly reduce the risk of re-infection and help preserve your health and that of those around you. So remember: the next time you get sick, remember to change your toothbrush to avoid any risk of reinfection.