No, your eyes are not deceiving you. You can actually stay healthier this flu season if you keep your toothbrush clean and sanitized.
Think about it. You use your toothbrush daily (or so we hope!) to clean stuck food out of your teeth and plaque from your gums. Then you give your toothbrush a quick rinse and set it back on the counter. You see a clean toothbrush. What you don’t see is the hundreds, if not thousands, of bacteria still lingering on your toothbrush.
To keep these bacteria at bay, replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head every 3-4 months. Most importantly, replace your toothbrush when you have caught the “bug”. When you brush your teeth during the time you are sick, you can prolong your sickness by using the same toothbrush. This is because you keep introducing that same bacteria back into your mouth.
Also, be sure to rinse your toothbrush in hot water and make sure that it can air dry quickly. A wet toothbrush is a breeding ground for new bacteria.
Someone else in the home have the flu? It might be wise to brush your teeth in the guest bathroom until they are better. Remember, it is never a good idea to lay toothbrushes next to each other, especially in a drawer. A shared toothbrush holder is also a no-no if you want to avoid sharing germs.
For those who really want to be sure their toothbrushes are germ-free, you can purchase a UV toothbrush sanitizer. It uses UV rays to eliminate unwanted and harmful bacteria, fungi and viruses that reside on your toothbrush.