Should You Share a Toothbrush?

Published on October 23, 2020

You share everything with your partner, but should you share a toothbrush? From transferring bacteria to spreading diseases, here’s why sharing a toothbrush can be bad news for your health.

Should you share a toothbrush?

Perhaps you’ve made the all-too-easy slip-up of forgetting your toothbrush when staying overnight at your partner’s - or maybe you’ve accidentally reached for the wrong toothbrush in the morning. 

Whatever the situation, is it ok to use your partner’s toothbrush or share a toothbrush regularly? Read on to discover why, unlike many things in a relationship, sharing is best avoided when it comes to our toothbrushes.

Why sharing isn’t caring when your toothbrush is involved

The particular mix of bacteria in your mouth is unique to you. When you use someone else’s toothbrush, you expose your teeth and gums to new bacteria which may not react well with your existing bacteria. This foreign bacteria can increase your risk of catching a cold, the flu, or other germs lurking on your partner’s toothbrush, even if they practice good hygiene. 

The reality is, couples spread bacteria in many ways, from kissing and holding hands to sharing food and drinks. While this is totally normal behaviour, the risks of spreading bacteria can be minimised by regularly washing your hands, using mouthwash, and not sharing a toothbrush.

The health risks of sharing a toothbrush

Sharing a toothbrush can impact more than just your oral health. As it’s not uncommon for people’s gums to bleed when they brush their teeth, sharing a toothbrush can lead to the spread of diseases that are transmitted by blood, such as hepatitis C.

Bleeding gums can be caused by a number of factors, including brushing too hard, flossing too aggressively, or the presence of periodontal disease. If you experience bleeding gums when brushing your teeth, visit your dentist to check what could be causing this.

Forgotten your toothbrush? It’s better to buy a new one

If you’ve forgotten your toothbrush, think twice before reaching for your partner’s - instead, it’s better to pop out and buy a new toothbrush so you avoid the risks of sharing. What’s more, seeing as dentists recommend you change your toothbrush every three months, your new one won’t go to waste.

Remember, good oral hygiene plays a critical role not only for healthy teeth and gums but also for your overall physical health - so skip the toothbrush sharing to keep your mouth in the best condition. 

If you need to pay a visit to your National Dental Care dentist - book an appointment online today.

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