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Aidan asks:

"Can I get sick from my toothbrush?"

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Hi, Aidan! Neither the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) nor the American Dental Association report any evidence showing that your toothbrush will make you sick. Still, your brush does become contaminated by millions of bacteria in your mouth, on your hands and in your bathroom. That’s why it’s best to clean your brush thoroughly after each use, store it properly and not share it with others.

Here are five ways to keep your toothbrush clean and reduce the chances of germs becoming a problem:

1. Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly with tap water before and after you brush.

Try to get all the toothpaste out of the bristles so the brush is completely clean.

2. Don’t share your toothbrush with anyone else.

It’s OK to share toothpaste as long as the tip of the tube doesn’t directly touch your toothbrush. Just avoid sharing toothpaste when someone in your family is sick.

3. Store your toothbrush upright, not touching other brushes.

Let it air dry. Bacteria is more likely to grow on your brush if it is in a drawer or holder without good air flow.

4. Be sure your toothbrush is kept at least 6 feet away from the toilet.

And always close the lid before flushing.

5. Replace your toothbrush every 3 months or when the bristles become frayed.

If your toothbrush is worn, it will be less effective.

Taking these steps can help keep your toothbrush clean and keep bacteria at bay. Just don’t rely on DIY methods of sanitizing. The CDC does not recommend soaking your toothbrush in a disinfectant or mouthwash, or placing it under ultraviolet light. Also avoid putting your toothbrush in the dishwasher or microwave.