Connect with us

Lifestyle

Sharing a toothbrush is never a good idea, dentists say

Avatar

Published

on

Sharing a toothbrush is never a good idea, dentists say
There are those who are completely unfazed by their partner’s toothbrush use – whether it’s a one-off or a regular occurrence – and those who are completely disgusted by the idea. No matter which camp best describes you, be sure to share is not caring when it comes to your oral hygiene.

But if you occasionally borrow your partner’s toothbrush, you’re not alone: ​​In a survey of more than 1,100 Match.com members, the online dating platform found that 22 percent of participants admitted to doing so — and 76 percent of they never even told their partners about the brushy encounter.

The habit may not seem like a big deal: After all, you’re sharing with someone who hugs you regularly. But according to orthodontist Anna Castilla, DDS, swapping spit and swapping brushes are not the same at all. And that’s why she would never, ever recommend it.

“The mouth is home to hundreds of different types of bacteria and occasionally some viruses that can easily be passed from one person to another by sharing a toothbrush, including the causes of colds, flu, herpes and even periodontal disease,” says Dr. . Castile. “Kissing someone is one thing. Picking up the plaque and bacteria from someone’s teeth and then scrubbing them yourself is another.”

“Kissing someone is one thing. Picking up the plaque and bacteria from someone’s teeth and then scrubbing them yourself is another.” —Ana Castilla, DDS

When you kiss someone, you usually share saliva, says Dr. Castilla. However, when you use someone else’s toothbrush, there’s a chance you’re introducing bacteria or viruses into your own bloodstream. “This is because for many people brushing can result in bleeding from the gums, especially if that person has gingivitis or periodontal disease, the latter affecting 47 percent of people are 30 years and older in the US, according to the CDC,” she says. ‘Even if you believe you are both perfectly healthy, when it comes to bacteria and the spread of infection it is really a matter of numbers. The less bacteria spread, the better it is for everyone involved.”

And it doesn’t matter if it’s a toothbrush looks like clean and well stored. Regularly disinfecting your toothbrush is not necessary, but it does contain bacteria that are invisible to the naked eye everywhere. “The snake-like microscopic bacteria get trapped between the bristles,” says Nammie Patel, DDS. So the next time you’re in a pinch without a toothbrush, use your (sanitized) finger and then run outside to get a toothbrush. It’s better than ingesting a mouthful of problem-causing bacteria every day.