Whether it’s a one-time thing or a regular habit, some couples are totally fine with using their partner’s toothbrush. Meanwhile, the rest of us cringe at the thought of swapping toothbrushes with our S.O., but are we making it too much of a big deal? According to a Match.com survey, 22% of participants admit to sharing their sweetie’s toothbrush, so lots of folks are doing it. But when it comes to oral hygiene, sharing really isn’t caring.
According to orthodontist Ana Castilla, swapping spit and swapping brushes aren’t the same thing … like, at all. And she would never recommend doing it. She explains that the mouth is home to hundreds of different species of bacteria and sometimes some viruses, including colds, flu, herpes, and even periodontal disease, which can all be transferred from one person to another by sharing a toothbrush.
“To kiss someone is one thing,” Dr. Castilla says. “To pick up the plaque and bacteria off of someone’s teeth and then scrub it on your own is quite another.”
So even if you think you’re both healthy, the less bacteria you spread around is better for everyone involved. That means when you don’t have your own toothbrush, you’re better off using your sanitized finger to brush instead of borrowing your S.O.’s.
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