Toothbrush Safety Tips During COVID-19
COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus, a new disease that has spread across the globe, killing thousands of people. Scientists are still learning this virus and how it spreads. However, COVID-19 is believed to spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. You can also get the virus by touching contaminated areas.
If you are sick, you will have this virus in your saliva, which could end up on your toothbrush. If your toothbrushes are placed in the same holder, you could end up spreading the virus to other people in your home.
Not everyone exhibits COVID-19 symptoms. Some people can be asymptomatic, so make sure to observe toothbrush safety and hygiene during this period. Be extra careful, so you can avoid putting other members of your household at risk of getting sick.
Older people and those with comorbidities or serious medical illnesses are especially at risk of developing serious symptoms of COVID-19.
Here are some tips on how to observe toothbrush safety during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Toothbrushes Should Observe Social Distancing Too!
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or are exposed to the virus, you should store your toothbrush separately. You might have to self-isolate as well. Avoid storing your brushes with everyone else’s toothbrushes.
Keep it upright in a separate holder or container, and place it by your bedside table or other areas in your home.
Wash Your Hands First
Before you brush or floss your teeth, make sure to wash your hands first. CDC recommends that you wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds to kill the virus. You can also use hand sanitizer or 70% isopropyl alcohol. You should also wash your hands after brushing or flossing your teeth.
Always Disinfect Your Toothbrush
Disinfect your toothbrush, especially the handle. Wipe it with a disinfectant. According to the National Institutes of Health, COVID-19 can survive in plastic for 2-3 days. It is possible to get contaminated by touching infected surfaces. CDC recommends disinfecting with a diluted bleach solution. You can also use at least 70% alcohol.
Get Your Own Toothpaste
Be careful about sharing a tube of toothpaste with the rest of the household. Avoid touching the tube with your toothbrush. Squeeze a pea-sized amount onto a Q-tip, then apply the toothpaste onto the bristles.
You can also just get your own toothpaste, and do not share it with the rest of the family.
Do Not Share Toothbrushes
If you are in the habit of sharing a toothbrush with your spouse, it is now time to get your own. Toothbrushes are not 100% clean even after you’ve visibly rinsed it. Make sure that your kids have their own toothbrushes.
Kids tend to grab brushes and end up using the wrong one. Make sure to color code the brushes, or try writing the kids’ names on the brush handle to avoid swapping of germs and bacteria.
Make sure to keep a watchful eye of the kids while they brush their teeth. Kids do not have the best dental hygiene, and they could easily spread germs.
Throw Away Your Toothbrush
Get rid of your toothbrush after recovering from your illness. Replace it with a new one, so you can avoid getting sick again. If you are using an electric toothbrush, you can always just grab a new head.
Truth is, you actually need to replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. Despite the pandemic, it is still important to take care of your oral health. You also need to observe toothbrush safety to protect your family from possible infection.