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      Your toothbrush is full of germs

      AH-CHOO! With cold and flu season in full swing, your toothbrush can become a haven for bacteria. A spokeswoman for Dental Dental of Michigan has some quick advice.

      Sarina Gleason says there are ways to disinfect your toothbrush. She says wet it first then put it in the microwave for 1 minute. She says you can also put it in the dishwasher, perhaps in the silverware tray. Or you can rinse with mouthwash, then water.

      From the Delta Dental:

    • Sterilize your toothbrush once per week. For manual toothbrushes, one minute in the microwave or one run through the dishwasher will do the trick. For electric toothbrushes, soak the head in mouthwash for 3 minutes.
    • Avoid cross-contamination of germs by giving each member of the family their own tube of toothpaste and using an individual travel size container when someone is sick.
    • Replace your toothbrush every four months because toothbrushes wear out and donâ??t clean as effectively once the bristles become worn down. If you do get sick, be sure to replace your toothbrush right away.
    • Wash your hands before and after brushing. Anytime the hands are near the mouth, they can transfer bacteria.