DANGERS OF SHARING A TOOTHBRUSH
While sharing a toothbrush may sound pretty disgusting, can it really be that bad for you? You figure you
share a fork or kiss your significant other all the time and nothing happens so is sharing a tooth brush
really that different? The answer is – YES! Maybe you’re at a friend’s home and you forgot your
toothbrush so you think you’ll just borrow theirs or you use your spouse’s by accident. No big deal, right?
What’s the worst that can happen? Well, hold onto your dental floss because it is a big deal and here’s why:
WHAT’S ON THAT BRUSH?
Whatever bacteria or germs that person has in their mouth is going to transfer to your mouth via that
toothbrush. The best case scenario is you just get a cold or the flu. However, that toothbrush could also
contain disease-causing bacteria and viruses, like staph or E. coli. If you shared a toothbrush that belongs
to someone who has Herpes Simplex Type One, you will be at risk for contracting it. This is the virus that
causes oral and genital herpes. If that person has a fever blister, guess what’s on that toothbrush you just
Toothbrushes can also harbor the human papillomavirus (HPV) that is linked to oral, esophageal, and
cervical cancers. This virus can be transmitted through saliva or sharing a toothbrush. Viruses and even
parasites are pretty hard to kill and can live on metal and plastic or the bristles of the toothbrush for
several days! These parasites can move to other parts of your body and lead to even more health issues.
If your gums were to bleed and bacteria from that toothbrush got into your bloodstream, you could be at
risk for hepatitis, HIV or other communicable diseases. Candida is the fungus that causes yeast infections
and diaper rash and it likes to live on toothbrushes so this is another little gift you can pick up too.
DON’T WORRY THOUGH, IT’S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD.
If you do use someone’s toothbrush by accident or on purpose,
you might want to rinse your mouth with an antibacterial
mouthwash as soon as possible to minimize any contagious
germs. Your best bet is not to do it in the first place but
accidents do happen. Having a travel toothbrush is always a
good idea and a safe way to keep your mouth fresh and teeth