Experts Say It’s OK To Keep Your Toothbrush After The Cold Or Flu

African American woman brushing teeth

After a bout with the cold or flu, it’s natural to go on a cleaning binge in an effort to prevent anyone else (or even yourself) from catching the same virus.

During the cleaning rush, do you have to get rid of your germy toothbrush? According to, the answer is no. It’s impossible to contract the same cold virus. There are more than 200 different strains of the virus in the air at all times.

READ: Are You Using The Right Toothbrush

Dr. Natalie Azar, an NBC medical contributor, says the body develops antibodies while you experience a particular virus. Therefore, the body is no longer susceptible to that particular virus after exposure the first time.

So the virus may be on your toothbrush, lipstick, sheets, towels and more, but you can’t re-infect yourself.

But ditching your toothbrush after a cold or the flu can reduce the chances of germs spreading to any other nearby toothbrushes.

READ: 7 Foods That Naturally Whiten Teeth

Viruses that commonly live on a toothbrush vary from staph, e-coli and yeast, according to Dr. Heather Rosen, medical director of UPMC North Huntington Urgent Care.

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