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Have you ever thought that sharing or borrowing a toothbrush is probably harmless, especially if you rinse the brush off first? In reality, though, you shouldn’t share your toothbrush or ever let anyone else use your brush.

As you may know, everyone has different bacteria in their mouth. Toothbrushes can actually harbor bad bacteria, and if you share a toothbrush, you could be sharing bad bacteria. The bacteria that cause cavities are also contagious, so sharing a brush can actually leave you more vulnerable to cavities. Many toothbrushes can also harbor blood, since many individuals bleed when they brush or floss. If you use a brush with someone else’s blood on it, you could find yourself with diseases like herpes, hepatitis, and HPV. Sharing saliva can also leave you more vulnerable to yeast infections and to pneumonia.

There are a few things you might be able to do if you find yourself without a toothbrush—but please note that these options shouldn’t be used as permanent replacements. For instance, there are some foods, namely crispy fruits and vegetables, which could help you keep your teeth clean. You may want to use mouthwash to fight off bad breath and kill bacteria. You could also use your finger instead of a toothbrush.

If you have any questions about sharing a toothbrush, please don’t hesitate to contact E. P. True Dental - West Des Moines, IA at (515) 224-9899. Dr. Pete Olberding and our team will be happy to answer any questions you have. We’re eager to hear from you soon.