My daughter has a nasty cold and I am trying to figure out when to change her toothbrush. Should I do it now or after the illness is gone?
I’m glad you wrote. Parents have been misled regarding this for many years. This is something that has been pushed by the toothbrush companies. You can understand why. Making people feel like they put themselves or their child at risk if they don’t change the toothbrush every with every illness, makes them a lot of money. The reality is there is no scientific evidence that this is true. In fact, the only study I can find on this was put out by the American Academy of Pediatrics by the University of Texas in 2013. Their results showed that there was no transmission of strep throat from a toothbrush.
If your pediatric dentist is pushing this idea, feel free to show him or her this post. While it is true you can catch one cold right on the back of another, that will not be the “same” cold. Instead, it will be a different strain. This is because your body has developed antibodies to that strain and you now have a built-in immunity to that particular strain.
If you are still worried, there is a way to sterilize your toothbrush that has been approved by the CDC. Put enough household bleach in a cup to cover the head of your toothbrush. Let it sit there for five minutes and then rinse it. There will not be any residue.
I hope this puts your mind at ease.
This blog is brought to you by Duluth, GA Dentists Drs. Drake and Wallace.