You’re a couple. You share bodily fluids, packets of salt and vinegar chips, a bed, a bathroom, a life - but would you share a toothbrush? Is it the ultimate romantic gesture? Or is it completely gross?
‘Absolutely not. That’s filthy.’
That’s the general consensus from our friends. But a recent health study revealed that one third of adults have actually shared a toothbrush, so we sense that somebody may be telling porkie-pies.
The truth is when you wake up in someone elses apartment with a furry mouth and bad morning breath you can find yourself looking longingly at their perfectly clean-looking toothbrush perched on the sink, and wondering, ‘could I? What’s the worst that could happen?’
- Icky bacteria for one thing. You may be exchanging saliva with the toothbrush owner, but do you want their bacteria? Up to 100 million bacteria can stick to a toothbrush including Streptococcus mutans, which is the bacteria responsible for MRSA infections and tooth decay.
- Sore throat viruses and HPV can live on toothbrush bristles. The same type of viruses that you get from kissing but without the kissing…
- Bleeding gums exposes you to blood borne illnesses. Not cool – right?
- Periodontal disease is found on toothbrushes. It’s a common oral infection that can cause teeth to fall out. Teeth are pretty expensive to replace and nobody fancies a lifetime of sucking dinners through straws.
- Bits of food can also live on the bristles for up to 48 hours. So, you may have shared dinner the previous night but do you really want their food particles in your mouth? Maybe even their breakfast from the day before. Hmmmmm we didn’t think so.
If you do find yourself, sleepy eyed, bed headed with bad breath and hanging for a clean mouth, can we suggest that you don’t reach for someone elses toothbrush but instead consider the following:
- Use a washcloth – wrap your finger around it, slather some toothpaste on and scrub the way the cave men might have.
- Use a toothpick to pick along the gumline.
- If you can’t resist and HAVE to grab the toothbrush, clean it in some type of mouthwash first.
Ultimately, we’d ask you not to be so cheap. Throw on a t-shirt, nip to 7-11 and buy a second toothbrush or order one from Keeko! Problem solved.