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The Toothbrush Trick To Banish Bacteria

Date:10-05-2013 07:50:04 read:4
Category:Man-->Diseases

Struggling with strep throat? Look on the bright side: At least you don’t have to replace your toothbrush after you defeat the disease, says new research presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting.

Congrats, you get to live to see another day!

Researchers asked three groups of patients—some with strep throat, some with sore throats, some healthy—to brush their teeth for 1 minute with a new toothbrush. The samples were then taken to the lab to examine what type of bacteria grew on the bristles.

The results: Group A Streptococcus (GAS)—the bacteria that causes strep throat—was only found on one toothbrush. And oddly enough, the toothbrush came from someone who didn’t have strep, says study author Lauren K. Shepard, D.O., a resident physician in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Texas Medical Branch.

“People often assume it’s mandatory to toss your toothbrush out after having strep or a sore throat,” says Shepard. But since your mouth contains a substantial amount of bacteria, your body constantly fights off germs with your saliva, she says.

That said, the American Dental Association suggests switching brushes every 2 to 3 months. In the meantime, eliminate bacteria buildup by submerging your toothbrush in Listerine for 10 to 20 minutes at the end of each week, says John M. Coke, D.D.S., professor of General Dentistry & Oral Medicine at the University of Alabama.

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