The world has been getting used to all of the changes that COVID-19 brought with it. Now, there’s another new recommendation for patients to follow. Dentists are now strongly recommending that people who have successfully recovered from COVID-19 change their toothbrushes.
It’s essential to keep in mind that while vaccines will make the world safer – people still need to use basic precautions. Precautions such as masks, swapping out toothbrushes, and social distancing in crowded places.
There are a few main reasons why dentists are so concerned about toothbrushes following COVID-19 recovery. Experts believe that a new toothbrush will eliminate, if not reduce, the risk of re-infection for a patient.
Furthermore, it will help to protect anyone else who shares the same washroom. Many dentists even recommend this practice following recovery from any illness, including the flu or the common cold.
The reason for this concern has to do with bacteria. Surfaces such as toothbrushes and tongue cleaners experience regular heavy exposures to any virus that is potentially within a person’s body. Over time, the virus will multiply, creating a hazard for any that come in contact with it, including the toothbrush’s owner, hence the risk of re-infection.
This concern is doubled when it comes to illnesses such as COVID-19, which transmit via the spread of droplets. A toothbrush from an infected patient is likely to be loaded with COVID-19. Throwing out the exposed toothbrush and buying a new one will help to mitigate this risk.
In order to deal with any potential bacteria build-up, dentists recommend the use of mouthwash and betadine gargling. If neither of these options is available, even a rinse with salt water is better than nothing. This practice will help maintain healthy oral hygiene and reduce the risk of transmission and re-infection.
Other safety measures around toothbrush hygiene including socially distancing toothbrushes, washing hands before brushing/flossing, disinfecting the toothbrush handle, and taking care not to contaminate the toothpaste tube. Better yet, each person in a household should have their own toothpaste. Additionally, it is never recommended to share toothbrushes, especially when the risk of infection is higher.