Sharing is a positive concept, but this not true if you allow another person to use your toothbrush. Doing so encourages both sharing and transferring of whatever mouth bacteria you and the other person have. The habit — obviously — is gross, and this can increase the likelihood of catching a cold or flu and make you prone to developing periodontal diseases.
Microorganisms can live in the bristles. General Dentistry Limited and other Sioux Falls family dentistry centers noted that these usually grow in a moist environment and can make your toothbrush smelly.
Here are some of the gross things that can happen if you use another person’s brush or if you let someone use yours:
Spreading of Germs
People can spread germs in a number of ways. These include kissing, holding hands, and sharing food. You are also likely to transfer bacteria when you share your toothbrush, but this riskier than other habits mentioned. Catching a cold is the most common result, but this is not for sure. To be safe, it is best not to let anyone use your brush.
Gum Disease (Though Rare)
Toothbrushes or the bristles carry disease-causing bacteria and viruses like staph and E. coli. In rare cases, this can cause you to get gum disease. This does not commonly happen, but you still shouldn’t risk it. It is also never advisable to share toothbrushes, especially if you have bleeding gums or periodontal disease because you increase the risk of getting communicable diseases or bacteria into your bloodstream.
It was an Accident
If you accidentally use someone else’s toothbrush, gargle with mouthwash. If you forget to bring yours, it is best to buy a new one. You can also stick with the mouthwash first then brush your teeth later. You should never share your toothbrush even with people you love or trust like partners, friends, or kids.
Forgo toothbrush sharing altogether. You shouldn’t also forget to replace your toothbrush every three to four months or if you had a cold or flu. Check the bristles and if they are worn out, you should replace them with frayed ones cannot clean your teeth properly.