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Do You Need to Replace Your Toothbrush After Strep Throat?

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strep-throatIf you’ve ever experienced strep throat, you know that it’s THE WOOOOOOOORST! Anything that can cause you to not even enjoy food is an absolute nightmare in my opinion. Our hygienist Amy recently experienced this sick saboteur when her daughter caught the bug this week. As you can see it was not pretty.

Strep throat is never a fun time. Growing up I would get strep throat so often that I finally needed to have my tonsils removed. This also meant my parents were constantly replacing my toothbrush to avoid reinfection. The old rule of thumb was to replace your toothbrush after two or three days, but before finishing your antibiotics. We like to stay in the know and there has since been research claiming you will not reinfect yourself with your toothbrush after you’ve recovered from strep throat and there is no need to toss. You can read the study here.

Despite that small study, we think you still should throw away your toothbrush after being sick. Germs can live on your toothbrush for a couple hours all the way to a few days – especially when you’re dealing with a wet bristley environment. For as cheap as toothbrushes are these days — hey, we’ll even give you one for free every time you visit us — we think it’s best to air on the side of caution. Especially when you’re dealing with you or your child’s health. Regardless of health, remember to replace your toothbrush every 3 months.

WebMD agrees that you should replace your toothbrush after strep throat:

Toss toothbrushes after illness. Throw away a brush you or anyone in your home used while sick.

Yes, that means all toothbrushes. Treat electric or power models the same way you handle an old-fashioned one. Chuck the brush attachment after an illness or when the bristles begin to show signs of wear.
Strep Throat

And since we like happy endings. Here’s Amy’s daughter after antibiotics.