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Once and for all, should you use a new toothbrush after you’ve been sick? A doctor weighs in

Once and for all, should you use a new toothbrush after you’ve been sick? A doctor weighs in

There’s so much to love about this time of year: cute boots, cozy knits and holiday shopping. But there are also some downsides to the middle of fall and start of winter: cold and flu season. The best we can do is take precautions like avoiding crowds, masking up and getting plenty of vitamins in our diet. Plus, there are some other germ prevention tips you might not have considered.

Quick overview
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  • Oral-B Pro 1000 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush, Pink

  • PHILIPS One by Sonicare Battery Toothbrush, Mango Yellow, HY1100/02

  • Colgate 360 Floss Tip Battery Powered Toothbrush, Sonic Toothbrush With Soft Bristles, Tongue Cleaner Helps Remove Bacteria, Great for Travel, Includes 1 AAA Battery Total, 2 Pack

  • Colgate Extra Clean Toothbrush, Medium Bulk Toothbrush Pack, Adult Medium Bristle Toothbrushes with Ergonomic Handle and Circular Cleaning Bristles, Helps Remove Surface Stains, 6 Pack, Multicolored

  • GUM Technique Deep Clean Toothbrush - Compact Soft - Soft Toothbrushes for Adults with Sensitive Gums - Extra Fine Bristles, 3ct

  • Oral-B Charcoal Toothbrushes, Medium 2ct

See 2 more

We all know how easily we can catch a cold from someone else, but is it possible to catch something from yourself? According to Dr. Stacie J. Stephenson, there’s research that suggests using a toothbrush after you’ve been sick can cause oral disease as well as viral and bacteria infections.

“Not every doctor or dentist agrees on whether you should use a new toothbrush after being sick,” Dr. Stephenson tells In The Know by Yahoo. “Some say that you can’t reinfect yourself with the same germs you already have, so you don’t have to worry about changing your toothbrush when you get sick. Others say you can reinfect yourself and should always change your toothbrush after being sick.”

Dr. Stephenson’s advice? It’s better to be safe than sorry. She says, “I recommend always tossing your toothbrush and using a fresh one every time you’ve been sick. Germs can also spread to toothpaste tubes, so try not to touch the toothpaste tube to your toothbrush, especially if other people in your household use the same tube of toothpaste, and get yourself a unique tube for personal use only if you get sick.”

She also recommends keeping a second toothbrush in rotation as a general habit for best bacteria control. This way, you can let your toothbrush dry completely before reusing.

After hearing this advice, you might want to stock up on spare toothbrushes. We found a ton of options with great reviews, so scroll down to start shopping.

If you prefer electric toothbrushes, try out the Oral-B Pro 1000. It has three cleaning modes and is designed to pause if you’re brushing too hard to protect your gums.

$40 at Amazon$40 at Walmart

Another electric toothbrush option, the Philips One by Sonicare is battery-operated so you don't have to worry about recharging. It has a two-minute timer with 30-second notifications to make sure you dedicate equal time to each side of your mouth.

$17 at Amazon$17 at Walmart

Colgate's battery-operated option comes at a lower price point, so it's great for traveling. The vibrating bristles are designed to deliver the cleaning power of 20,000 brush strokes per minute.

$8 at Amazon$8 at Walmart

The brushes in this pack of Colgate toothbrushes have both circular power bristles and cleaning-tip bristles, so they can effectively clean every section of your teeth. It comes as a pack of six to make it easy to remember to swap out your toothbrush regularly.

$5 at Amazon$5 at Walmart

GUM's deep-clean toothbrush is made with soft bristles, making it an excellent choice for anyone with sensitive gums. As its name implies, this toothbrush is designed for a 400% deeper reach.

$7 at Amazon

These Oral-B toothbrushes are made with charcoal-infused bristles to whiten your teeth as you brush. The angled outer-bristles are designed to effectively clean the gum line.

$7 at Amazon

If you liked this story, check out the boot trends that will be everywhere this season.

More from In The Know:

The 5 boot trends everyone will be wearing this fall and winter

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Stylist discusses the ‘pandemic skip’ theory in the context of personal style

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