HEADLINES Published February15, 2016 By Annie Dee

Toothbrush Germs Can Be Deadly for Those with Weak Immune System

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Woman with toothbrush
(Photo : Stephen Lovekin|Getty Images Entertainment)

There are people who cannot stand the thought of using their old toothbrushes after they have been sick. While there is still no definite rule on this practice, medical experts claim that this is not necessarily illogical, especially if you have immunologic disorders, or a weak immune system. 

According to Yahoo Health, medical experts claimed that there are no concrete evidence that would say your toothbrush should be tossed out if you used it on the duration of your sickness. There are studies that showed germs can live on toothbrushes for several days but not enough evidence to say these germs can cause the same disease again. Moreover, when people get sick, they develop antibodies that would make reinfection almost impossible. 

Dr. Neha Vyas, M.D, a family medicine doctor at the Cleveland Clinic however, claimed that a new toothbrush after you've been sick is not that a bad idea. As you recover from a virus or bacteria, your immune system is still quite weak, so other types of bacteria found in your toothbrush can still make you sick. She said this is especially applicable for those with cancer or with any form of immunulogic disorder. "If you are immunocompromised in any way-you're being treated for cancer or have an underlying immunologic disorder-then it would certainly help to discard your toothbrush immediately after you recover from an illness."

Instead of just changing your toothbrush, you should also be mindful of your toothpaste, which is similarly prone to germs. A dirty finger or a dirty toothbrush touching the opening of the toothpaste is likely to cause some health problems.  "If someone in your family is ill, they should consider using their own tube in order to prevent cross-contamination," Dr. Vyas said. 

She also warned against using toothbrush covers. Covering the bristles only make germs much more easier to settle and thrive, especially if the toothbrush is still moist. More ways to care for your toothbrush have been released by Delta Dental, which cautioned against using a commercially available toothbrush sanitizer to clean your toothbrush. 

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