They indicate according to a recent Gallup poll a record number of Americans reported being sick in December. This was the highest percentage ever recorded since 2008 when they began tracking flu and cold symptoms.
Many of us throw away a toothbrush after we have become ill and while this is a good practice, did you know that there is a difference in the type of illness that should dictate whether or not you discard that toothbrush? If you have had a cold or flu, your body will create anti-bodies that prevent repetition of the same illness so you are fine to keep brushing with the same toothbrush. However, if you have had a bacterial infection like strep throat you may want to discard that toothbrush in case it is harboring any fugitive bacterial colonies.
According to Dental Plans.com they share a best practice rule that we agree with. "As a general rule, don’t store toothbrushes belonging to multiple people in a cup or container where the bristles can come into contact with each other. Avoid enclosing your brush in a cap or container that doesn’t allow air to circulate around the bristles. When you’re ill, you may also want to avoid bringing your toothbrush into direct contact with the contents or rim of a shared tube of – you may just want to use separate tubes, and toss the one used by the sick person after he or she is feeling better."
The American Dental Association also advises you can soak your toothbrush in an antibacterial mouth rinse to prevent bacterial buildup as well. They even go as far to suggest that since toothbrushes are not required to be sold in sterile packaging, it is a good idea to soak your toothbrush before you even use it.
We want our patients to be happy and healthy. By following a couple simple guidelines you can increase the chances that your family will stay well through this cold and flu season. Remember to wash your hands several times a day, eat good foods, and drink a lot of water. Give your body all it needs to stay in top condition during this time of year.
Please call if you have any questions or concerns about your toothbrush. We carry a great Oral-B electric toothbrush that really boosts your oral health care efforts.