The situation: You wake up, go to the bathroom, and groggily brush your teeth after a late night. Then you look down and—gasp—it's not your toothbrush. Or maybe you find yourself at your significant other's place without your own gear and figure it couldn't hurt to borrow a 'brush. But a moment later, you wonder, "What have I done?"
What you're worried about: "What if I catch some weird mouth disease! HIV! Hepatitis! Zika!"
The very worst thing that could happen: In theory, it's pretty grim. A review of case studies, published in Nursing Study and Practice , found that toothbrushes often contain disease-causing bacteria and viruses such as staph, E. coli , and Pseudomonas . You could get a periodontal disease, or oral herpes (which causes cold sores) if the toothbrush's owner currently has a fever blister. If your gums bleed and bacteria enters your bloodstream, you're even at risk for hepatitis, HIV, and other communicable diseases. ( The Power Nutrient Solution is the first-ever plan that tackles the root cause of virtually every major ailment and health condition; get your copy today!)
"Whatever bacteria is in that person's mouth, you're going to get it in your mouth," says Marco Coppola, DO, chief medical officer and vice president for medical affairs at Family ER + Urgent Care in Irving, TX. And it's certainly possible to catch a cold, flu, or sore throat from germs that may be hanging out on those bristles. "Viruses are pretty hard to kill, and they can live a couple of days on plastic and metal," Coppola says.
What will probably happen: You likely won't catch anything more serious than a cold, which won't happen as long as you don't share spit when your partner is sick. "The reality is that people living together will spread bacteria in many ways," says Justin Sycamore, DDS, a dentist in Thousand Oaks, CA. "Kissing, sharing food and drinks, and holding hands will all cause the transfer of bacteria. Sharing a toothbrush is gross, but it's probably little more harmful than many of the other things that couples and families do."
Still freaked out? Grab some strong mouthwash, like Listerine. "If you rinse with it immediately after the toothbrush contact, you should minimize or even negate the exposure," says Sycamore.
Still, if you don't know someone very well, or you see a cold or fever blister, it's safer to skip the toothbrush swap. And everyone should be replacing her toothbrush every 3 months and after any illness, such as a stomach bug or the flu. "That prevents contamination again in the future," says Cyndi Blalock, DDS, a dentist in St. Peters, MO. "Even to yourself."
Originally Posted On: http://www.prevention.com/health/what-if-you-share-a-toothbrush
1. Brush Your Mouth OftenNot just your teeth, you should brush everything in your mouth. Your gums, your tongue, the roof of your mouth. All of these things need to be brushed and brushed often. This will help keep your teeth cleaner longer and prevent germs from taking root.
2. Floss OftenAs most dentists will tell you, flossing is a good thing to do to keep your teeth clean. Brushing can clean the surfaces, but can't do much for the spaces in between. You need to floss to get a totally clean, and you should floss at least once a day.
3. Eat A Teeth-Friendly DietMost people indulge in sugary foods because they taste good. However, sometimes the best tasting foods can be the most harmful to your teeth. Things like sodas, candies, and other sugary items should be consumed in moderation.
Concierge dentistry is about providing you the dental care you need in a manner that is expedient and convenient. That means that those who specialize in concierge dentistry must have a deep understanding of both general dentistry and cosmetic practices.
More Attentive Care
When it comes to your time, concierge dental groups understand how important it is. Since these services take on fewer clients, they are able to give you a greater level of care, meaning that they can accomplish more in one appointment than many dental offices can in three.
High powered jobs are highly visible jobs. That means that you are constantly needing to look your best. Stains on your teeth or a gap can do a great deal to undermine your sense of confidence.