How Often Do You Replace Your Family's Toothbrushes?

How Often Do You Replace Your Family's Toothbrushes?

Jackie Boucher
Jan 25, 2012

We've all heard the 3 to 4 month rule -- that's a message the American Dental Association has driven home for many years -- keep your toothbrush clean and effective by replacing it every 3 to 4 months. But have you heard the suggestion that you change your toothbrush after getting a cold to avoid re-infection?

The first time I heard this notion was a few years ago on a morning radio show, OK, not where I normally get advice on healthy living. My first response was "hey, that's smart" which quickly got rudely interrupted by my first year human biology professor's voice in my head (which, thankfully, doesn't happen very often) reporting that people never get the same cold twice. A cold is a virus after all, and our immune systems learn from every virus they beat, never to be fooled again. But I've been hearing this tidbit of advice, it seems, with greater frequency.

So which is it? We can't get the same cold twice or we can give ourselves a cold we already had from our toothbrush? Well, according to Slate we should save the money and the hassle on this one. Check out their article to learn more about about when you should actually change your toothbrush as well as some down to earth advice on best practices for taking care of it.

(Image: Shutterstock)

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