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
From seeing the spooky forceps and needles to even smelling dental compounds, 5-8% of patients refuse to seek dental care all together and 20% of patients will only go to the dentist when necessary.
I think I have odontophobia. What can I do to prevent panic during visits?
Easier said than done - practice positive self-talk! Tell yourself “YOU CAN DO IT!”
Make sure to remind yourself “everything WILL be okay.” Your dentist is a professional and is someone you can trust.
Don’t be nervous - speak up to your dentist. Let him/her know when you’re having a rough time. Listening to your concerns face-to-face helps both sides - you and your dentist. Your dentist can help make an ideal and reasonable commitment that makes you feel comfortable because dental health is SO important! Knowledge is power!
Download your favorite podcast, album, or playlist before heading to the office. Distract your thoughts and link the experience to something you ENJOY.
Don’t forget headphones! Your dentist will not be upset if you put your headphones in to distract your thoughts.
Take deep breaths! Think about pleasant experiences in your life to stay calm.
Here at Fabulous Smiles, we have a therapy dog named Bailey that will ease any panic you might have.
You never outgrow your smile!
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