Can My Toothbrush Spread Germs?

Toothbrushes shown together in a glass

It’s winter, and germs move to the forefront of your mind because you don’t want to catch a cold or flu. Have you thought about your toothbrush? Today’s blog from Northside Dental Clinic answers the question, “Can your toothbrush spread germs?” 

In Short, Yes.

In short, yes your toothbrush can spread germs. But as long as you take proper care of your toothbrush, the chances of this happening are small.

What if I am sick?

What happens if you’re sick with a cold, flu, or other infectious diseases? You can still brush your teeth and maintain your ordinary oral hygiene regimen. Chances of reinfection from your toothbrush are very small because you’ve already gotten sick, and your body’s immune system protects you.

Don’t Let Toothbrushes Touch Each Other

Germs can live on your toothbrush for a few hours up to a few days. They could also travel from one toothbrush to another. Chances are good you store your toothbrushes in the same holder, cup, or container. Try to keep your toothbrush from touching others because you might inadvertently give someone else in your house the same sickness you just had.

If you or someone in your family has COVID-19, you might take extra precautions. Much as you would quarantine yourself from your family, do the same thing with your toothbrush. Put your brush in a separate container, maybe on the other side of the counter from everyone else’s. Consider replacing your toothbrush after you recover.

How do I keep germs off of my toothbrush?

WebMD recommends simply rinsing your toothbrush with hot water after each use and letting it air dry. There is no clear evidence that disinfecting rinses or mouthwashes prevent germs from settling into your brush. Ultraviolet or microwave devices may damage the brush. Letting your toothbrush air dry is enough. Don’t store your toothbrush covered as that could allow them to stay moist.

How do I prevent bathroom germs from getting on my toothbrush?

Northside Dental Clinic wants you to feel safe when brushing your teeth. Researchers at Manchester University in England noted in 2016 that toothbrushes can harbor up to 100 million germs, including Strep, E. coli, and Candida. Unless you practice poor oral hygiene or don’t take good care of your toothbrush, the chances of bathroom germs, such as E. coli, are small. However, it’s a good idea to keep toothbrushes away from areas where you use the bathroom.

Who can help me develop a good oral hygiene routine? 

The team at Northside Dental Clinic can help you with your oral hygiene routine, and we’ll answer all of your questions. Contact Northside Dental Clinic online or call (417) 862-2468 to make an appointment.