Should You Change Your Toothbrush After Having a Cold or Flu?

Closeup of a box of tissues, a used tissue, glasses, and a mug because someone is sick with a cold or flu

It’s a common practice to replace a toothbrush after being sick. The reasoning behind this is that you might reinfect yourself with the leftover germs on your brush. But is this necessary?

Can I Get Sick From My Toothbrush?

If you had a terrible infection, cold, or flu, you may be scared of getting the same illness again if you brush with the same toothbrush you used during the time you were sick. But typically, our immune system protects us from getting the same illness we’ve already had. That’s because our immune system produces antibodies, which fight off the germs that enter our body. When germs that we’ve already been exposed to re-enter the body, a strong immune system will fight them off. This means that the body is less likely to be reinfected with the same virus or the same bacteria twice in a short span of time. However, it is possible your immune system isn’t strong enough to prevent the illness again or that there are different germs lingering in your toothbrush that could make you sick.

When Should I Replace My Toothbrush?

After you’ve recovered from being sick, it’s best to start off with a new toothbrush that is clean and fresh, just to be safe, especially if you know you have a weakened immune system. If you are healthy, change your toothbrush every three to four months, or earlier if the bristles look worn or frayed. Additionally, toss out a brush that has an unusual odor or color, or if it was used by someone else.

How Should I Care for My Toothbrush?

Do not share your toothbrush with anyone else because sharing allows germs to spread. After brushing, rinse your toothbrush with water, shake it out, and allow it to dry completely by storing it in the upright position. If you’re nervous about lingering germs in the bristles, rinse it with an antibacterial mouthwash. Moreover, do not store your toothbrush with a cover, as this will encourage bacterial growth.

Take Care of Your Health!

To help protect yourself from sickness this season, remember to:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time
  • Floss every day
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Get your blood pumping with appropriate exercise
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Eat a balanced and nutritious diet
  • Get plenty of sleep

If you have any additional questions about your oral health or how to have superb dental hygiene, contact our Long Island City dental office. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Karoline PammerKaroline Pammer
20:52 30 Mar 22
Dr. Nguyen and his staff are extremely competent, friendly and professional. He is very thorough and explains everything very clearly. Finally I feel like I am in good hands when it comes to dental care.
Matt SmithMatt Smith
21:18 05 Feb 22
Great overall experience getting a dental cleaning. Very friendly staff, beautifully designed office, and a comfortable experience watching calming Netflix nature programming while in the chair. Complimentary beverages are in the waiting room and so is a little play area for kids.It felt to me that this was a patient-focused family practice as opposed to a cold, corporate dental mill trying to churn through as many patients as possible.I’ll definitely be coming back here for all my dental needs and I highly recommend.
Sundup SherpaSundup Sherpa
22:07 02 Feb 22
Dr. Nguyen and his staff are very welcoming and they provide an excellent experience every time I visit. I’ve only been here twice for annual checkups but would definitely consider and recommend this place to anyone who appreciates good customer experience and a very thoughtful approach to making sure that you feel at home. I have some procedures set up for later in the month and I must actually be the only person in the world actually looking forward to a dentist appointment.
Jayrockem GottemJayrockem Gottem
21:27 09 Nov 21
Great place wonderful staff they will be my go too dentist 100%
shawaf alishawaf ali
22:08 26 Aug 21
Very confident after leaving the office that my teeth are in greatttt hands. Above and beyond patient care. Very informative visits. A sense that they genuinely care about patient concerns. Added helpful guidelines I took home with me to reach dental hygiene goals before my next visits. Highly recommended you leave your old scary dentist ! 😁😁
Queensboro Plaza Dental Care

Queensboro Plaza Dental Care