Can You Reinfect Yourself With Strep From Toothbrush (2023)

It’s a common question asked by parents: can you reinfect yourself with strep from your toothbrush? The answer is yes and no. While it is technically possible to get strep throat again by using a contaminated toothbrush, it is highly unlikely.

Streptococcus bacteria, which cause strep throat, are spread through contact with respiratory secretions like saliva and mucus. When these secretions come into contact with an object like a toothbrush, they can transfer the bacteria to the bristles. However, the CDC does not recommend sharing personal hygiene items like toothbrushes because of the potential for spreading infection.

Can You Reinfect Yourself With Strep From Toothbrush (1)

  • Obtain a used toothbrush from an individual who has strep throat
  • Rinse the toothbrush off with water
  • Rub the bristles of the toothbrush on the tonsils or back of the throat for 1-2 minutes
  • Spit out any saliva that may have been collected on the brush
  • Repeat steps 2-4 two more times for a total of 3 exposures to strep throat bacteria
Can You Reinfect Yourself With Strep From Toothbrush (2)


How Long Does Strep Throat Last on a Toothbrush?

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t give much thought to your toothbrush. But did you know that your toothbrush can actually be a breeding ground for bacteria? In fact, studies have shown that the average toothbrush contains more than 10 million bacteria!

So, what does this mean for your health? Well, if you’re healthy, not much. However, if you’re sick – say, with strep throat – those bacteria can stay on your toothbrush and make you sick again.

In fact, strep throat is one of the few illnesses that can be passed from person to person via a contaminated toothbrush.So how long does strep throat last on a toothbrush? Unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer.

However, it’s generally recommended that you replace your toothbrush after you’ve had strep throat (or any other illness) to prevent re-infection.

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How Do I Not Reinfect Myself With Strep Throat?

If you have strep throat, it is important to take steps to avoid infecting others and reinfecting yourself. Here are some tips:-Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective.-Avoid sharing personal items such as towels, utensils, or razors.-Stay home from work, school, or daycare if you are sick.

You should not return until you have been symptom-free for at least 24 hours without the use of medication.-Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze using a tissue or your sleeve (not your bare hand). Then wash your hands immediately afterwards.

Also Read: Can You Recycle Toothbrushes

-Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

How Do You Disinfect a Toothbrush from Strep?

If you are using a toothbrush that has been contaminated with strep, it is important to disinfect it as soon as possible. There are a few different ways that you can do this. One way is to soak the toothbrush in a solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water for at least 10 minutes.

Another way is to boil the toothbrush in water for 5 minutes. You can also run the toothbrush through the dishwasher on the sanitize cycle. Whichever method you choose, make sure that you rinse the toothbrush well with clean water before using it again.

How Easy is It to Reinfect Yourself With Strep?

If you’ve had strep throat before, you may be wondering if you can get it again. The answer is yes – it is possible to reinfect yourself with strep throat. However, it is not easy to do so and usually requires close contact with someone who is currently infected.

Here’s what you need to know about reinfecting yourself with strep throat.Strep throat is caused by the Streptococcus bacteria. This bacteria is highly contagious and can be passed from person to person through coughing, sneezing or close contact.

Once you have been infected with strep throat, the bacteria remain in your body for a period of time (usually around 3 weeks). After this period, the bacteria are no longer active and cannot infect you again – even if you come into contact with them.However, there are some rare cases where people have been reinfected with strep throat after coming into contact with the bacteria again.

This usually occurs when the original infection was not completely cleared from the body (for example, if antibiotics were not taken for the full course of treatment). In these cases, it is possible for the dormant bacteria to “reactivate” and cause another infection.The best way to prevent being reinfected with strep throat is to practice good hygiene habits and avoid close contact with people who are currently infected.

If you do come into contact with someone who has strep throat, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards and avoid sharing personal items (such as towels or cups).

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Can You Reinfect Yourself With Strep Throat?

Most people are familiar with the common cold and strep throat, but what many don’t realize is that you can actually reinfect yourself with strep throat. That’s right, if you’ve had strep throat before and you get it again, chances are it’s because you gave it to yourself.The reason this happens is because the bacteria that causes strep throat, Streptococcus pyogenes, can live on surfaces for days or even weeks.

So if you touch a doorknob or countertop that has the bacteria on it and then touch your face, you can give yourself strep throat.It’s also possible to spread the bacteria to other people. If you have strep throat and share a drink with someone else, for example, they could end up getting sick too.

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And since kids often play together and share toys, it’s not surprising that strepthroat is more common in children than adults.If you think you might have reinfected yourself with strep throat, see your doctor as soon as possible. With proper treatment, most people recover quickly and without complications.

Does Listerine Kill Strep on Toothbrush

It’s no secret that Listerine is a powerful antiseptic mouthwash. But did you know that it can also be used to kill strep on your toothbrush?That’s right – Listerine can help keep your toothbrush clean and free of harmful bacteria like strep.

Simply soak your brush in a cup of Listerine for 30 minutes, then rinse it thoroughly with water. You can do this once a week to help prevent the build-up of bacteria on your brush.Not only will Listerine kill strep on your toothbrush, but it will also help keep your whole mouth healthy and free of infection.

So next time you’re looking for a way to freshen up your brush, reach for the Listerine!

When to Throw Away Toothbrush After Strep

When you have strep throat, it’s important to take good care of yourself and avoid passing the infection to others. One way to do this is to replace your toothbrush after you’ve had the illness.Why?

Well, strep throat is caused by bacteria, and those bacteria can live on your toothbrush. That means that if you don’t replace your brush, you could re-infect yourself or make someone else sick.So how soon should you get a new toothbrush?

It’s generally recommended that you wait until your strep throat has gone away completely before using a new brush. This helps ensure that all of the bacteria are gone from your mouth and won’t end up back on your teeth.

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If you don’t have a new toothbrush handy, though, it’s still better to use your old one than not brush at all.

Just be sure to clean it well afterwards: soak it in hot water for at least 30 minutes or run it through the dishwasher (without detergent) on the hot cycle. And of course, always rinse off your bristles before putting them in your mouth!

What to Throw Away After Strep Throat

If you’ve had strep throat, you know how miserable it can be. The good news is that once you’re treated with antibiotics, you’re on the road to recovery. But that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear just yet.

There are a few things you need to do to make sure all the bacteria are gone and prevent reinfection. Here’s what to throw away after strep throat:-Any food that was left out during your illness.

This includes anything in your fridge or pantry that may have come into contact with contaminated surfaces.-Any utensils or dishes you used while sick. Bacteria can linger on these items, so it’s best to start fresh with new ones.

-Any makeup, lotions, or creams you used while sick. Again, bacteria can stay on these products and cause reinfection if they’re not discarded.-Your toothbrush.

Streptococcus bacteria can live on your toothbrush long after you’re no longer sick, so it’s best to get a new one to avoid getting sick again.Following these tips will help ensure that all the strep bacteria are gone and won’t come back!


Yes, it is possible to reinfect yourself with strep throat by using a toothbrush that has been contaminated with the bacteria. It is important to regularly clean your toothbrush and to avoid sharing it with others to prevent the spread of infection.

Table of Contents

(Video) Why does my throat hurt? Is it Strep Throat?


How long does strep live on toothbrush? ›

The literature for group A Streptococcus (GAS) growth on toothbrushes is limited, targeting children with recurrent infections. Some literature suggests that GAS can live on toothbrushes for an extended period of time, dependent on oral habits, 3 days on a rinsed toothbrush and up to 15 days on a non-rinsed toothbrush.

Can you reinfect yourself with strep throat? ›

People can get strep throat more than once. Having strep throat does not protect someone from getting it again in the future.

How do you get strep off your toothbrush? ›

Some studies have found that soaking your toothbrush in a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution or antibacterial mouthwash can help kill any bacteria that may be on it. To make and use this solution: Mix 1 teaspoon of peroxide in 1 cup of water. Swish the bristles of your toothbrush in the solution or soak for 15 minutes.

Do I need to throw away my toothbrush after strep? ›

The old rule of thumb was to replace your toothbrush after two or three days, but before finishing your antibiotics. We like to stay in the know and there has since been research claiming you will not reinfect yourself with your toothbrush after you've recovered from strep throat and there is no need to toss.

Should you throw out toothbrush after strep? ›

Strep throat is highly contagious, and most dentists recommend that after you have been on antibiotics for 24-48 hours, you get rid of your old toothbrush. It keeps you from putting those same germs back into your mouth, potentially getting you sick again. Cold sores should also prompt you to get a new toothbrush.

Can strep come back after a few days? ›

Yes. Some people tend to get strep throat more than others and a common way to get strep again is if it is not cured after the first course of antibiotic treatment.

How do you know when strep throat is no longer contagious? ›

People with strep throat should stay home from work, school, or daycare until they no longer have a fever and have taken antibiotics for at least 12 hours. This will help prevent spreading the bacteria to others.

How long do you shed strep throat? ›

When you get infected, you typically start to show symptoms about 2 to 5 days after you were exposed to the bacteria. You can stay contagious for up to a month if you don't get treated. Antibiotics can prevent the infection from spreading. People who take antibiotics stop being contagious after about 24 hours.

What disinfectant kills strep? ›

The gram-positive organisms Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes were slightly more resistant, being killed in 10 seconds by ethyl alcohol concentrations of 60%–95%. Isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol) was slightly more bactericidal than ethyl alcohol for E. coli and S. aureus 489.

What kills bacteria in strep throat? ›

Strep throat treatment includes antibiotics. An antibiotic is a type of medicine that kills the bacteria that cause an infection. Penicillin and amoxicillin are common antibiotics healthcare providers use to treat strep throat.

Can you get strep throat from sharing toothbrush? ›

No Strep Germs from People with Strep

Their toothbrush specimens were sealed and sent to a lab. Researchers examined the brushes for GAS. Of every single toothbrush, only one had GAS bacteria, and it was a person who did not have strep throat.

How long can strep live on items? ›

SURVIVAL OUTSIDE HOST: The bacterium can survive on a dry surface for 3 days to 6.5 months (22). It has been found to survive in ice cream (18 days), raw and pasteurized milk at 15-37 ºC (96 hrs), room temperature butter (48 hrs), and neutralized butter (12-17 days) (17).

Does mouthwash cure strep? ›

Very simple, you can use almost anything with gargling if it makes the symptoms feel better. Gargling, however, will not cure a strep throat. It will make the symptoms feel better but it won't be a cure.

Why am I getting strep again? ›

So why does recurring strep throat happen? Antibiotic Resistance – Some forms of strep throat are resistant to the antibiotic that has been prescribed. Penicillin and cephalexin are the go-to strep throat antibiotics in the case of strep. If these don't knock the bacteria out, your doctor will go a different route.

Can strep throat relapse after antibiotics? ›

Not Finishing the Course: When antibiotics are prescribed, it is crucially important to finish the entire course of medication. Some people stop taking the drugs as soon as they get better, and this can lead to a resurgence of the infection.

How can you tell the difference between strep throat and sore throat? ›

A viral sore throat is typically accompanied by other cold-like symptoms, such as cough, sneeze, runny nose and a hoarse or raspy voice. “A strep infection can make it feel very painful to swallow, and often comes with fever of 101-degrees or higher,” said Schairer.

How contagious is strep with no fever? ›

Is Strep Throat Contagious if You Don't Have a Fever? If you have strep throat, you can infect someone else whether you have a fever symptom or not. Streptococcus pyogenes, the bacteria that causes strep throat is highly contagious and can be transmitted regardless of symptoms.

Are you contagious if you have strep and no fever? ›

While fevers are a common symptom of strep throat, you can also have strep throat without a fever. However, whether you have a fever or not with strep throat, you are still contagious.

How can I test for strep throat at home? ›

Rapid strep test kits are available over the counter at drugstores and do not require a doctor's prescription. These tests are quick and easy to use, giving you results in as little as five minutes. It works just like a rapid test that doctors perform.

Why is strep throat worse at night? ›

Strep throat can cause intense pain that persists throughout the day. However, the pain may worsen at night due to increased postnasal drip or pain-relieving medications wearing off during the night. Other possible symptoms of strep throat include: pain when swallowing.

When can I kiss after strep throat? ›

You can pass strep throat to others until you've been taking antibiotics for 1 to 3 days. If you have strep throat, stay home until your fever is gone and you've been taking antibiotics for at least 24 hours. Avoid kissing people or sharing eating utensils when you have strep throat.

What should I wash after strep? ›

Keep your drinking glass and eating utensils separate from those of others. Wash these items well in hot, soapy water. Gargle with warm salt water at least once each hour to help reduce swelling and make your throat feel better. Use 5 mL (1 tsp) of salt mixed in 250 mL (1 cup) of warm water.

How do you disinfect a couch after strep? ›

Alcohol Disinfectant: To make this sofa disinfectant, mix 2 cups of rubbing alcohol with 1 cup of water. Alcohol acts well against viruses. Vinegar Sanitizer and Disinfectant: To make this disinfectant, mix 1 cup of white vinegar with 1 cup of water. Vinegar is quite effective in killing dust mites and bacteria.

How do you clean toys after strep? ›

Bleach solution: Another way to clean and disinfect plastic toys is to mix a half cup of chlorine bleach and one gallon of water, then soak the toys in there for at least 5 minutes. Allow to air dry thoroughly. Rinse with potable water and then air dry again to ensure all of the bleaching solution is gone.

Can your body beat strep without antibiotics? ›

Strep throat typically goes away within three to seven days with or without antibiotic treatment. If strep throat is not treated with antibiotics, you may be contagious for two to three weeks and at a higher risk for complications such as rheumatic fever.

Can strep clear up without antibiotics? ›

Does strep throat require antibiotic treatment? The short answer is yes. “Unlike ear infections, which can be bacterial or viral in nature, strep throat is always caused by bacteria (group A streptococcus),” Moore clarifies.

What irritates strep throat? ›

Irritants. Outdoor air pollution and indoor pollution such as tobacco smoke or chemicals can cause a chronic sore throat. Chewing tobacco, drinking alcohol and eating spicy foods also can irritate your throat.

Can strep B be passed through oral? ›

Anyone can carry GBS. GBS is not considered to be a sexually transmitted disease or infection as it can occur on its own even in someone with no prior sexual experience. However, bacteria can be passed between sexual partners, including through oral contact.

How long do strep particles last on surfaces? ›

SURVIVAL OUTSIDE HOST: The bacterium can survive on a dry surface for 3 days to 6.5 months (22).

Can strep throat bacteria live on surfaces? ›

Previously it was believed that the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae and Streptococcus pyogenes would not survive long on inanimate items like furniture, toys, or dishes. But a recent study from the University of Buffalo shows that this bacteria can actually live for weeks or even months on inanimate items.

How long does strep throat bacteria live? ›

That crib toy you got your son might be just the thing to give him strep throat, according to a new study.

How long does strep last on soft surfaces? ›

Most gram-positive bacteria, such as Enterococcus spp. (including VRE), Staphylococcus aureus (including MRSA), or Streptococcus pyogenes survive for months on dry surfaces (Table ​ 1).

How contagious is strep through the air? ›

Strep throat is a highly contagious bacterial infection. Strep bacteria is spread through airborne droplets when someone sneezes or coughs—and through shared drinks or food. That's why it's so important to seek medical attention as soon as symptoms of strep throat appear.

Can you get strep throat from bedding? ›

Sharing household items such as eating utensils, cups, towels, and bedding exposes you to the strep throat. Your risk also increases by touching doorknobs and handles that have traces of the droplets and immediately touching areas of your face such as your eyes, nose, or mouth.

Can you get strep throat twice? ›

Yes. Some people tend to get strep throat more than others and a common way to get strep again is if it is not cured after the first course of antibiotic treatment. If you have had strep throat 7 or more times in one year, your physician will most likely recommend performing a tonsillectomy.

Can you spread strep If you are a carrier? ›

Yes. You can pass the strep infection to other people until you have been treated appropriately with an antibiotic. Children who have strep throat should not go back to school or day care until their fever has gone away and they have taken an antibiotic for at least 24 hours.

How long should you quarantine with strep throat? ›

People with strep throat should stay home from work, school, or daycare until they no longer have a fever and have taken antibiotics for at least 12 hours. This will help prevent spreading the bacteria to others.

Is strep throat contagious without a fever? ›

While fevers are a common symptom of strep throat, you can also have strep throat without a fever. However, whether you have a fever or not with strep throat, you are still contagious.

How contagious is strep after 24 hours? ›

After 24 hours of antibiotic treatment, strep throat is usually no longer contagious. Antibiotics can make your child feel better quickly as the bacteria begin to die off, but it's important to finish the antibiotic treatment, even if your child seems well again.


1. How To Cure A Sore Throat in 60 seconds | How To Get Rid Of A Sore Throat 2021
(Health Uncut)
2. BAD STREP THROAT (With Swollen Nodes) | Dr. Paul
(paulthomasmd - Dr. Paul)
3. Germs Beware
(MYGEMS Science Center)
(Aado Lifestyle)
5. Ear infections are common, but can be prevented
(ABC15 Arizona)
6. What the Health?! Hawkeye Community College Student Health Clinic Series | E3: Strep Throat
(Hawkeye Community College Main Campus)


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