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How clean is your toothbrush?

November 10, 2009

Now that the cold and flu season is upon us, everyone should do their part to prevent spreading germs to others. Some well-known ways include washing your hands frequently, covering your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, and using tissues and antibacterial sanitizers often. But there’s a frequently-used item that most people don’t realize can host many disease-causing germs: your toothbrush! It’s recommended that you change your toothbrush every three months for two reasons.  The first is because the bristles become less effective at removing plaque when they are worn out, and two because the bacteria becomes increasingly more difficult to remove. However, if you do get sick, it is more sanitary to replace your toothbrush as soon as possible. It’s also recommended that you sterilize your toothbrush at least once a week.  You can try putting it in the dishwasher, or storing your toothbrush bristle down into a cup of antibacterial mouthwash like Listerine. There are also many toothbrush sanitizers on the market, like Violight brand products.  They even have sanitizers for kids, like the Violight ZapiPOP Toothbrush Sanitizer that can kill up to 99.9% of germs. Finally, avoid placing your toothbrush near other toothbrushes, as some airborne bacteria can transfer from one brush to the other. Following some of these tips will keep your brush at its best, and can help keep you healthy.