Has it ever happened to you to take the toothbrush from your family member by mistake and brush your teeth? Or sleeping over at your girlfriend or boyfriend's place, you forgot the toothbrush, yet you may not fall asleep without brushing your teeth. Well, it can happen and all the possible scenarios to justify why using someone's toothbrush at that point was the only choice, is going to change if you keep on reading this blog post. Even if we are a family, or partners, spouses each one of us carries millions of bacteria in our oral cavity which could be easily transmitted when sharing a same toothbrush. In addition, viruses and diseases can be also passed down easily through a toothbrush i.e through saliva and blood.
#1. Streptococcus Mutans
Our mouth cavity hosts many bacteria, good and bad ones too. Streptococcus Mutans is found in every oral cavity and contributes to tooth decay. When eating sugary food, this is the bacteria that breaks down the sugar, turns it into acid which in turn breaks down the protective layer of the tooth - the tooth enamel. If present in your mouth, it is also present on your toothbrush. Eventually, can you imagine to get it for free?
#2. Periodontal Disease
The bacteria that builds up on teeth and causes plaque, are the ones that cause periodontal disease. If these bacteria are transmitted by using the same toothbrush, it is very likely for them to progress and cause teeth loss. Although the might sound too dramatic for you or even exaggerated, this is not the case. Indeed, this is a very wicked situation, where one feels no pain but teeth becomes loose. If it ever happens to you, do not say you did not know.
#3. Herpes Simplex Virus - 1
This is a very common virus known to cause blisters and sores around the mouth and lips. It can be very easily transmitted via kissing or even sharing a toothbrush. The bad thing is that it can not be cured, yet vitamin C helps in decreasing the outbreak as well as some ointments over the counter. Just think about it, is it worth to catch a virus that can not be cured by simply brushing your teeth with another toothbrush but yours?
#4. Hepatitis B and C
It can happen that hepatitis B or C is not discovered on time and the person might even not be aware in the beginning. Yes, this is a worse case scenario, yet again why taking the risk. Even though, Hepatitis B and C are blood transmission virus, it can happen to hurt the gums while brushing the teeth which will in turn make the toothbrush contaminated. Again, this might sound like one in a million chance to get it, yet why be the one in a million when you can be none.
Known as a kissing disease, mononucleosis is transmitted through saliva or sharing same utensils. It makes the body produce more white blood cells and weakens the immune system. Sore throat, fiver, swollen lymph nodes, swollen spleen... the list goes on with the symptoms and our aim is not to scare you but raise the awareness how a simple toothbrush sharing can cause unnecessary difficulties in life.
By regular toothbrushing, flossing, use of mouthwash and regular dental check up, you may control the harmful bacteria in the oral cavity and protect your oral health. Also, NOT sharing your toothbrush is the right way. Remember, sharing is caring but it does not apply to your toothbrush.