Toothbrushes get a bad rap. After a bout with the flu or a nasty cold, they’re tossed faster than a wastebasket of tissues.

Let’s talk toothpaste, instead.

“When you’re ill, you may also want to avoid bringing your toothbrush into direct contact with the contents or rim of a shared tube of toothpaste – you may just want to use separate tubes, and toss the one used by the sick person after he or she is feeling better,” according to a recent blog on dental plans.com

Many of us trash our toothbrushes after recovery, assuming we can get re-infected by any traces of the virus that may be lurking within its bristles. There’s no medical reason to do so, according to dentalplans.com   You’ve already developed the antibodies needed to fight off that virus, according to a report in Slate Magazine by . But, if you have a bacterial infection such as strep throat, throw the toothbrush in the trash. While you probably won’t get reinfected, it’s possible in theory.

“If you were afflicted with strep throat, for example, a colony of streptococcal bacteria might end up on your toothbrush and remain there long enough to give you a second case after you’d taken a course of penicillin,” said Felsenthal.

Trying to discern myth from reality, read more at:

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2011/02/can_your_toothbrush_make_you_sick.html