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Do You Need to Toss Your Toothbrush after Strep Throat?

Posted on 1/30/2016 by Zac Bird
A toothbrush with tooth paste on it.Do you toss out your toothbrush after you or your child get over a case of strep throat? Many people do, but a new study has shown that this could have been a waste of a perfectly good brush. A study was recently completed at Galveston's University of Texas Medical Branch to see if dentists need to be recommending that patients toss out their toothbrush after recovering from strep throat.

To examine this hypothesis, researchers grew the bacteria that cause strep throat that were unused but were exposed to the bacteria in a lab. The bacteria then grew for 48 hours.

Next, the researchers studied the brushes used by 14 participants with strep throat in order to determine if the bacteria would grow on their brushes. After, the researchers compared the bacteria growth on the brushes, and it was found that even though all of the brushes grew some of the common bacteria often found in the mouth, strep bacteria were only discovered to have grown on one of the brushes, and it was not a brush from a participant who had strep throat.

The findings from this study show that you probably don't need to throw out your toothbrush after you have been diagnosed with strep throat. It seems unlikely that continuing to use these toothbrushes will further spread the infection, but there are other reasons that you might want to toss out your toothbrush.

You should change it out every three months or so - or when the bristles start to become frayed - to ensure that you are cleaning your teeth properly. Without a proper brushing surface, your teeth may not be getting completely cleaned during brushing, which could defeat the purpose of brushing in the first place.

If you have questions about caring for your teeth - or if you need to set up your next appointment - contact us today.

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Bird Family Dentistry
4707 S Junett St
Tacoma, WA 98409
(253) 777-0252

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