Most people are a little grossed out by the prospect of using another person’s toothbrush, and with good reason. Our mouths are chock-full of bacteria that could easily be transferred via the bristles of a toothbrush. Still, people who are intimate swap plenty of germs through kissing, sharing food, or even holding hands, among other activities. What’s the big deal? Is sharing a
toothbrush really that much worse?
Maybe not, but it definitely could be, and that’s a risk you might not want to take, especially considering toothbrushes are so inexpensive and easy to obtain. What should you do if you’re spending the night at someone’s house and you don’t have a toothbrush? If you truly value your health, just floss and rinse and save the brushing for the following day when you have your own toothbrush handy.
Sharing a toothbrush may be a sign that you’re comfortable with another person, but are you comfortable with getting colds, cavities, or communicable diseases? If not, here’s what you should know about the dangers of sharing a toothbrush.
Yes, you can share plenty of germs in a variety of ways when you’re in an intimate relationship, but you can also take precautions, such as washing your hands and of course, brushing your teeth. When you share a toothbrush, there’s no barrier against the transfer of bacteria, which can cling to the bristles and be transferred to the next mouth.
In case you didn’t know, this could lead to some serious side effects. Not only can you transfer cold germs, but you could also share bacteria known to cause cavities and periodontal diseases. Bet you didn’t think you could get cavities from sharing a toothbrush, but contagious bacteria responsible for tooth decay can easily be transferred from one mouth to the next when sharing a toothbrush.
The bigger concern is actually the potential for sharing bloodborne diseases like hepatitis or HIV. Even if you use soft bristles and avoid vigorous brushing, it’s possible for gums or other soft tissues to bleed during brushing. If one of you has a bloodborne pathogen, it can easily transfer from one bloodstream to another in this manner.
You might not think sharing a toothbrush once in a while is a big deal, but it will definitely become a problem if you contract hepatitis, just for example. Going without brushing once won’t really hurt your oral health, whereas sharing a toothbrush just once, under specific circumstances, could cause major problems. In other words, sharing a toothbrush is a bad idea, and something to be avoided.