New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk: COVID-19 cases are rapidly spreading across the nation, and it has become important to take extra precautions to prevent contracting the novel virus. Especially, those who have recently recovered from the deadly virus. So far, COVID-19 patients were advised to stay in isolation for at least 2 more weeks after testing COVID-19 negative to recover fully. However, now a new precaution has been added to this, Dentists are of the view that people who have recovered from the coronavirus should immediately change their toothbrush and tongue cleaner to prevent re-infection.

Throwing away the old toothbrush will not only prevent the recovered patient from re-infection but will also save other family members who use the same washroom. "If you or anyone in your family and friend circle have contracted Covid-19, once recovered, please ensure to change your toothbrush, tongue cleaner etc. These can harbour the virus, and it is best they are discarded," India Today quoted Dr Pravesh Mehra, HOD Dental Surgery, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, saying.

Dr Bhumika Madan, Consultant (Dental), Aakash Healthcare Super Speciality Hospital, further added that COVID-19 patients should change their toothbrush and tongue cleaner after 20 days of getting the first symptoms. This is because virus or bacteria build up over time on a toothbrush, and they can cause upper respiratory tract infections.

"As a prevention, we prescribe using mouthwash and betadine gargle that helps in reducing the build-up of virus/bacteria in the mouth. If mouthwash is not available, rinsing the mouth with warm saline water also works fine. Apart from this, one must maintain oral hygiene and brush twice a day," Dr Bhumika Madan was quoted saying.

What World Health Organisation (WHO) has to say:

According to WHO, Coronavirus spreads through tiny droplets that come out from an infected person's mouth when they sneeze, cough, laugh, shout, talk, etc. Not just this, people can also contract the virus by touching the surfaces that have been contaminated by the virus, and touching their face, that is, eyes, nose and mouth without washing or sanitising their hands.

Owing to all this, toothbrush and tongue cleaner have high intensity of having these viruses, and if one uses them after recovering then, there is a high chance of contracting COVID-19 again and can also infect other family members.

Health experts have further advised COVID-19 patients to disinfect and dry their toothbrush and tongue cleaner every time after using for safety.

Posted By: Niharika Sanjeeiv