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Ask Marilyn: Can I Catch Illness From My Toothbrush?

Al Lasso of Las Vegas writes:

Marilyn: After I get over a cold or the flu, do I need to buy a new toothbrush? If I use the same one, will I catch the same illness again?

Marilyn responds:


First, you can’t get the same cold or flu virus twice, at least not anytime soon and probably never. During your recovery, you ­develop antibodies that protect you the next time you run into those viruses. And second, you can’t re-catch a disease from your toothbrush anyway. If you could, you never would have gotten well; your toothbrush would have kept you sick.

Bacterial infections are different; you can get them more than once. But not from your toothbrush. The same evidence applies. Antibiotics or not, if your toothbrush could reinfect you, you’d have to use a new one every time you brushed!


 
 
 
 

 

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