Should I Buy a New Toothbrush After Being Sick?

November 18, 2022

It's possible that your dentist or someone close to you when you visited the dental office in Plantation, FL, told you that replacing your toothbrush after a cold is crucial. Regardless of the severity of the illness, every dentist will advise changing your toothbrush as a safety precaution after being ill. Even if the likelihood is small, the bacteria found in the bristles will stay, grow, and spread, increasing your risk of getting sick again. Sometimes, when you think of it, this is partly the reason why the cost of toothbrushes is made affordable – so you can replace them quickly when needed.

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Toothbrush 101

When Should I Change My Toothbrush?

It's better to start with a brand-new, clean toothbrush once you've recovered from an illness to be safe, especially if you have a compromised immune system. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months if you are healthy, or sooner if the bristles are worn or frayed. Throw away any brushes that smell strange, with an odd hue, or appear to have been used previously.

Can I Get Sick from Using an Old Toothbrush?

If you experience severe infection, cold, or flu, you may be worried that using the same toothbrush while unwell will cause you to contract the sickness again. However, our immune system guards us against contracting the same illness twice. This is due to the fact that our immune system creates antibodies to fight off external infections. An effective immune system will repel previously exposed bacteria when they re-enter the body. This indicates that the body has a lower risk of contracting the same virus or bacterial infection twice in a short period. It is possible that your immune system isn't strong enough to keep you from getting sick again or that other germs are still present in your toothbrush and could infect you after a month or so.

Bacterial Versus Viral Infection

Bacterial infections occur when your body picks up dangerous germs from the environment or from within. These infections differ from viruses since they are typically bigger and can grow on their own. They are living things with the capacity to move, produce their own food, and reproduce. In the body, bacteria are often restricted to a single location. Examples include pneumonia, strep throat, and food poisoning. Because germs can remain on your toothbrush for an extended time even after the recommended antibody cycle is over, this sort of infection is more likely to be able to re-infect you. To replicate themselves, viruses require a host. They cease to exist after a certain period if they cannot locate a host. A person becomes methodically infected by viruses, which disperse throughout the body. Infections caused by viruses include the flu, measles, AIDS, and COVID-19. The ability of our bodies to produce virus-specific antibodies makes it unlikely that viral diseases like the cold and flu will return, even if possible. After contracting one of these infections, your toothbrush is less likely to be contaminated. Although unlikely, it is still feasible because there may still be numerous viral strains in existence.

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Schedule an Appointment with the Best Dental Office in Plantation, FL

Even if your cold wasn't severe, you should still change your toothbrush as a safety measure. For any inquiries, get in touch with our office!

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