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Socially Distancing Your Tooth Brushes & Reducing the Viral Load..

by in Health Tips 07/05/2021

By Prithu Nath

Yes, you heard me right, one must follow social distancing rules even for tooth brushes. If you have Tooth Brushes Kissing each other in your shared  bathroom, then separation is the best form of safety.

Our toothbrushes can “act as reservoirs for microorganisms”, which can easily transmit disease from a sick to a healthy person. They can also prolong a covid + individual from recuperating more quicklyby increasing the viral load.

It has already been established that a high viral load of virus can be found in the saliva, nasopharynx, and oropharynx.

This makes it important to disinfect the toothbrushes and replacing them more quickly specially when one has just recuperated from a bout of any kind of Virus!

Two quick scenario before we discuss further on how to disinfect tooth brushes.

Asymptomatic Carrier

If there is someone in the house who is an asymptomatic carrier or is in the incubation stage, a contaminated tooth brush can not only spread the virus to others but can also increase the daily viral load.

So besides not using each other’s tooth brushes, one must also be careful while storing their tooth brushes by keeping them separately and in covered containers.

Viral+ & Reducing the Viral Load

If one is suffering from any kind of Virus then it is important to keep the tooth brush disinfected or by using a new tooth brush daily ! This helps in reducing the Viral Load and what better way can one find but to keep things clean which helps in turn to fight the Viruses!

Do you recall that during a hospital admission, they provide a new tooth brush on a daily basis. It is important to even replace a tooth brush on a daily basis if one does not have the energy or is too sick to disinfect their tooth brushes, but please do disinfect the used tooth brush before throwing it away !

As per a study published in July 2020 in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, some mouthwash can reduce the viral load of the COVID strains in the saliva. The researches of this study stated that using an antiseptic solution containing ethanol and essential oils, like Listerine Cool Mint can be quite helpful in reducing the number of COVID viruses in the saliva.

Disinfecting a Tooth Brush in six steps

The Brazilian researchers concluded that to disinfect the toothbrush, it is important to immerse it in mouthwash for 20 minutes. However, in the previous study, it was pointed out that one only needs to swish with the solution for 30 seconds to reduce the viral load present in the mouth. In the case of toothbrushes, the timing is higher due to the presence of bristles and moisture.

Just dipping your toothbrush in the solution may not be enough to cut down the risk of infection. To ensure complete protection, the researchers laid out six steps to complete the hygiene task.

Step 1: Wash your hands with water and soap or disinfect them with hand sanitiser that contains at least 70 per cent alcohol.
Step 2: After this disinfect your toothbrush handle with 70 per cent alcohol for one minute.
Step 3: Brush your teeth.
Step 4: When you are done cleaning your teeth, wash the brush and disinfect the handle with 70 per cent alcohol again for a minute.
Step 5: Immerse the head of your brush in ethanol and essential oil-based mouthwash solution and leave it for 20 minutes.
Step 6: Let your brush dry and then store it away from others.

Also one can use a strong solution of Soda bi Carb with a two step process of first dipping disinfecting with a mouth wash and then dipping in a soda bi carb solution.

  • Social Distancing: You heard us right, your toothbrush should follow the rules, too. What we mean here is that you should keep your toothbrush apart from the others that you share a bathroom with, especially if one of you is feeling sick. Never share a toothbrush.
  • Wash Your Hands: We’ve all been told to keep up with diligent hand washing. It’s important that you do this before you begin brushing and flossing your teeth.
  • Disinfect: COVID-19 can live for a while on plastic surfaces, so it doesn’t hurt to regularly disinfect the handle of your toothbrush.
  • Replacing Your Toothbrush: You should always be swapping out your toothbrush or brush head every three months. However, if you’ve been sick you’ll want to throw out your brush, even if it’s not that time yet.