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Can a Toothbrush Make You Sick?

We all know the importance of good oral hygiene. We brush our teeth two or three times a day. Yet, we may not realize that our toothbrush harbors millions of bacteria. Scientists have found more than 10 million bacteria living on a toothbrush. Here are just a few of the germs growing within the bristles of our toothbrushes: E. coli, staphylococci, and even fecal germs. Yes, “fecal” germs. Yuck!

To avoid a germy toothbrush, here are a few helpful tips to practice:

• Wash hands before and after brushing and flossing

• Never share a toothbrush and avoid storing toothbrushes together • Store the toothbrush away from the toilet • Close the toilet lid before flushing

• Avoid touching the toothbrush to the tip of the toothpaste

• Replace the toothbrush after being sick

• Rinse toothbrush thoroughly after every brush with hot water Brushing our teeth for two minutes, twice a day is important. The cleanliness of the toothbrush is equally important.


Bushel, George. “COVID-19: our guide to looking after yourselves and others through better oral hygiene”. Oral Health Foundation, 23 Mar 2020


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