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Change Your Toothbrush If You Have a Cold

Health Tip: Toss Your Brush and Cold Away

I hate to say it, but it's cold season. Yours truly has already succumbed to the scratchy throat, runny nose, and deep coughing that is sure to drive those around me crazy. Not one to get too down on the negatives, I found a silver lining in this cold of mine. A trip to the doctor was productive on two counts — I got a prescription for my nasty hack, and I got a useful tip from my doctor worth sharing.

When illness strikes, it's time to toss the toothbrush. The sickly germs will be better suited for the trash can than your mouth. An infected toothbrush makes it all too easy to make yourself sick again. Besides that, we're advised to change our bristles every three to four months anyway, right?

Do you change your toothbrush when you're not feeling well?

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victory228 victory228 5 years
What a load of BS. If had followed this dumb regiment, I would have wasted money on 5 toothbrushes.
Spectra Spectra 6 years
GirlOverboard is right--if you have a virus like a cold or the flu, it doesn't matter if you toss your toothbrush or not because you won't reinfect yourself with the same virus. But if you have a bacterial infection (strep throat, bacterial pneumonia, staph infection, or an anaerobic oral abscess), you definitely need to replace your toothbrush because you could recolonize your body with leftover bacteria.
GirlOverboard GirlOverboard 6 years
No, you can't catch the same *cold* twice, but sometimes what a person has isn't just the common cold! If you have strep, you should be changing your toothbrush out because you can get a repeated case of strep. If you're battling a sore throat but can't get to the doctor, it's better to swap out your tooth brush just in case. Same goes for staph. Basically, if it's a virus I've always heard you'll be safe from catching it again, but if you're battling an *infection,* you don't want to mess with it. Also, if you keep your mouth utensils near people in your family, when you're sick is a good time to keep them separate for a while. Then, once you're better, either swap for a new brush or boil/wash yours thoroughly before allowing it to reunite with the rest of the bristle family.
amber512 amber512 6 years
I think it is disgusting to think about and I have no idea why I have never thought of this before!
reanerbean reanerbean 6 years
I'm pretty sure you can't catch the same cold twice. Your body builds up antibodies specific to it. I'm kind of concerned that your doc doesn't realize that. (I could be wrong though - it's been a little while since my last immunology class!)
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