By Brian W. Donnelly, M.D., Pediatric Alliance — North Hills Division



Of Toothbrushes and Colds


You have recovered from a nasty cold. Should you throw away your toothbrush?

On the one hand, the virus that you just conquered (or maybe barely endured) is likely still on the toothbrush. And there are almost certainly other microbes on there, too.

So — yeah, toss it.

But, wait! There is another hand.

Remember, you did win the battle against this virus after all. And your immune system has the ability to remember how to neutralize that particular germ in the future. So, you may not need to discard that toothbrush after all. Perhaps you can trust your immune system to protect you.

Maybe the late, great, Joe Cocker was referring to the immune system here.

Or maybe not.


Bottom lines:

Keep brushing your teeth twice a day.

Use a toothbrush as clean and new as you are comfortable with.


— What do you do with your toothbrush after a bacterial infection like strep throat? Dr. Donnelly will consider that in Part 2 of “Save It Or Toss It” tomorrow on The PediaBlog.


(Read more from Dr. Donnelly on The PediaBlog here.)