The toothbrush bristle is favorable for the proliferation of microorganisms, including the coronavirus. You need to know if you can contract covid from your toothbrush.
Can you get Covid from a toothbrush?
Yes, it is possible to get a Covid infection from the toothbrush. The SAR-CoV-2 coronavirus is present in the environment as droplets can land on the toothbrush bristles. This virus can also transfer from other infected toothbrushes stored together. If any should happen to your toothbrush, you get infected when next you use the toothbrush.
Studies show that fluids from the mouth and nose are the most common sources of the spread of coronavirus. They can survive for more than 24 hours at room temperature on metal, glass, and plastic, including the plastic surfaces of the brush head, handle and bristles, and nylon, making it a perfect place to find this virus. When an infected person brushes their teeth and tongue, their filaments become contaminated with the virus. With this, they can easily be transferred to others and the environment.
How can coronavirus be transmitted from a toothbrush?
Covid-19 is a disease caused by a virus that spreads when infected people sneeze or cough. This virus can also be contracted by touching contaminated surfaces and then bringing those particles into the eye, nose, or mouth area with their hands. It is known that washing your hands is one of the most efficient measures to prevent infection.
The SAR-CoV-2 coronavirus infects human cells through the ACE2 receptors present in many of the cells of the pulmonary alveoli. This is why this infection causes lung conditions. The coronavirus can also infect the cells present in the mouth and the salivary glands. They also affect the Nasopharyngeal secretions, especially on the tongue. The tongue is the main reservoir or place of accumulation for this virus.
If a person is sick and brushes their teeth, the virus particles are on their toothbrush. And if it is also stored in a shared container, it can spread to other peoples’ toothbrushes in the house. These viruses can remain on the toothbrush bristles despite all handwashing precautions.
You should not forget that the virus is present in saliva. In this case, when brushing teeth, it is a means of contact with the toothbrush. The coronavirus can survive more than a day on the toothbrush bristles. This shows how contagious it is.
How to avoid transmission of coronavirus from the toothbrush
- Replace the toothbrush after an infection
If a person is sick and brushes their teeth, those virus particles end up on their toothbrush. The best recommendation then is to replace it after infection. This hygiene advice should be extended to all because not all people with Covid-19 show symptoms.
If an electric toothbrush is used, replace the head. Even if the person is healthy, the recommendation is to replace the toothbrush every three to four months. You should replace them sooner if the bristles appear worn.
- Disinfect the toothbrush regularly
Proper toothbrush hygiene should be practiced during infection. After use, the ideal is to rinse it in a disinfectant solution with hydrogen peroxide. This dilution has to be one by one. If a tablespoon of water is used, a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide must also be mixed.
Before using the brush, you have to wash your hands because it may have traces of the virus. Wash your hands before brushing and also before flossing. Never touch your mouth or brush before thoroughly washing your hands.
- Store toothbrushes apart
If a person has been exposed to Covid-19 or thinks they may be sick, the first recommendation is to isolate them. The same goes for the toothbrush. It should be separated from the other brushes just as it would be done with the family. If two or more people live in a house and one is infected with Covid-19, their care should be that their toothbrush is not close to who is not.
Avoid storing them all together. Keeping the toothbrush alone, upright in a cup or other toothbrush holder, or another separate area is better. Contrary to what many people think, keeping the toothbrush in the drawer, cupboards, or protectors is not the most suitable. These are hot and humid places, which increase the proliferation of bacteria, but leaving it on top of the sink also requires some care.
Store in a glass or other container, with the bristles facing up, keeping the brushes separate from other family members, one cup for each toothbrush.
- Disinfect toothbrush handles
Another precaution is to disinfect the handle. After using the toothbrush, clean the handle with a safe disinfectant. According to studies, the coronavirus can live in plastic for two to three days.
Avoiding storing brushes altogether is a recommended hygiene measure to avoid contagion by Covid-19.
- Use separate toothpaste
You also have to avoid contaminating the toothpaste. In this case, to not touch the tip of the tube directly on the toothbrush, you can remove a little paste with a piece of comfort paper or use different toothpaste tubes.
- Avoid sharing toothbrushes
Under no circumstances should you share a toothbrush. It is unhygienic. Sharing a toothbrush is just like transferring viruses from the other person’s mouth into yours.
How to disinfect the toothbrush
After use, disinfecting our toothbrush will help us prevent it from being a reservoir for Covid and decrease Covid infectivity. It will also contribute to the control of covid-19. You can clean your toothbrush by Spraying 70% alcohol or 0.5% hydrogen peroxide over the entire surface of the brush.
You need to spray both the head, bristles, and handle for one minute. The coronavirus has low resistance to these disinfectant substances after washing in running water.
The disinfectant that has proven to be most suitable is CPC (cetylpyridinium chloride). You can disinfect your toothbrush by immersion. You will immerse the head in a container with CPC for at least 1 minute. Then you try to cover the entire brush head or spray it with CPC spray. After this, you let it air dry.
You should know that sharing toothbrushes, toothpaste, and storing toothbrushes in the same container can cause cross-contamination. Failure to change the toothbrush after a Covid infection can also result in reinfection or cross-contamination. Remember that your brush is the best tool for caring for your teeth. So, take care of your brush to always be in perfect condition and free of any infectious organisms.