Never share a toothbrush
There are no circumstances when it is OK to share your toothbrush. It doesn’t matter if it is your family, friends or complete strangers. The last being the most risky!
Your toothbrush should be yours alone. By sharing someone else’s toothbrush you are transferring bacteria. Bacteria can cause of tooth decay. Tooth decay can be uncomfortable and unpleasant. It is one of the causes of bad breath! Ultimately tooth decay can cause tooth loss if not treated early.
It isn’t just oral health problems that can be passed on in this way. Serious health issues such as hepatitis and HIV can also be passed on by sharing your toothbrush. This is obviously a higher risk if you share with strangers but it is best to eliminate the risk altogether by not sharing your toothbrush with anyone at all.
What should you do if you’ve forgotten or lost your toothbrush? Use kitchen paper, or even your finger, with toothpaste on it. While it won’t do as good a job as a toothbrush it does remove the risk of infection.
Chewing sugar free chewing gum can also be useful to help keep your teeth clean on a temporary basis. Do remember though that this should never replace brushing your teeth. You should return to brushing (with your own brush) as soon as you can.
Keep your toothbrush away from the toilet
Another common bathroom habit which you may be guilty of without realising is positioning your brush too close to the toilet. Many germs and bacteria are easily spread through the air. Try and keep your toothbrush a suitable distance from the toilet where you can. If this isn’t possible, think about keeping your brush in a case. Make sure to keep the case clean too as a warm wet environment is a dream for bacteria.
Our advice is firstly, keep your toothbrush as far away from the toilet as you can. Try to keep it behind closed doors such as in a bathroom cabinet. Finally, when you flush, put the seat down first. This will help to minimise the aerosol that can transfer bacteria from the toilet to your toothbrush and ultimately, into your mouth.
Older brushes with worn out bristles are not very effective at removing bacteria and food particles. Make sure that your brush, or brush head if an electric toothbrush, are replaced around every 3 months. This simple change will help you to keep your teeth and gums much cleaner and healthier than persisting with an old, tired brush.
These three common bathroom habits can be responsible for a number of oral health issues. However good your oral health habits are though, you should never underestimate the importance of seeing one of our dentists for a regular check up.
Prevention of tooth decay, gum disease and other oral health issues is far preferable to treating them at a later stage.