Can Covid-19 be spread through utensils and toothbrushes?

The Claim: Covid-19 can be easily transmitted between individuals who share the same personal tools.
The Verdict: claim verdict

The Claim: Covid-19 can be easily transmitted between individuals who share the same personal tools.

The claim further noted that people who share toothbrushes are at risk of passing the virus to each other.

“You have to dispose of the toothbrushes and buy new ones because the toothbrushes will still be containing bacteria that can make you sick again.”

Contacted for a comment, Health desk experts said the virus can be spread through sharing personal tools. Another published study done in 2020 discovered that two in three Covid-positive people, who did not share their toothbrush with a family member, passed the virus to someone with whom they shared a toothbrush container.

Furthermore, sharing the same tube of toothpaste increased the risk of transmission within the same household by 30 per cent. Additionally, more than half of individuals who did not replace their toothbrush after having had COVID-19 infection passed the virus on to a family member.

The researchers also noted that the mouth is an early target of infection for Covid-19, especially the tongue, which is a great reservoir of viral germs. They continued to recommend tongue cleaning as the most effective oral hygiene habit in preventing the spread of the virus.

The health experts added that current research does not suggest a high risk of transmission for Covid-19 through household surfaces, food, or food packaging. However, more intimate items such as utensils and toothbrushes may still cause a risk. In settings where groups of people are expected to share utensils, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using disposable utensils and tools is the safest practice.

Background: The American Dental Association recommends regular replacement of toothbrushes and condemns sharing of toothbrushes and dental floss.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention advises that when a family member is suffering from Covid19 they should eat separately from others.

“Dishes and utensils should be cleaned with soap and hot water while wearing protective gloves (or in dishwasher) then cleaning the hands with soap and hot water after taking the gloves off,” they said.

Recommended toothbrush care:

Do not share toothbrushes, as they can have germs on them even after being cleaned. This is especially important for people with immune suppression, like individuals living with HIV.

Clean your toothbrush by rinsing it with tap water after use until it is completely clean, let it air-dry, and store it in an upright position.

Store toothbrushes uncovered and in an open container to prevent the growth of bacteria on them.

Do not let toothbrushes stored in the same container touch each other.

There is no evidence to support soaking toothbrushes in disinfecting solutions or mouthwash. In contrast, it may spread germs in some conditions and is best avoided.

If someone in the family is sick, separate their toothbrush away from the others, and replace it after they recover.

You do not need to use dishwashers, microwaves, or ultraviolet devices to disinfect toothbrushes. These methods may damage the toothbrush.

Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months, or sooner if the bristles look worn out. This is because a worn-out toothbrush may not work as well, not because it might carry more germs.

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