Toothbrushes- sharing isn’t caring!
Everybody loves sharing, right? Whether you’re splitting a bowl of chips with your mates or a romantic meal with a significant other, sharing means everyone comes away happy- except when it comes to toothbrushes. The Oral Health Foundation recently teamed up with Philips to commission a study on toothbrush usage, and the results were interesting to say the least! The survey found that over 25% of Brits were openly willing to share their toothbrush with others, whether it be a friend, partner, family member or celebrity.
Other interesting statistics from the survey showed that 32% of men would let someone else borrow their toothbrush, as opposed to only 20% of women- and young adults are also nearly twice as willing to share their toothbrush (55%) compared to their parents (30%), and around four times more open to do so than their grandparents (13%). These statistics are shocking, not least because they show the lack of education about the dangers of toothbrush-sharing.
The mouth harbours hundreds of different kinds of bacteria that can be easily transferred from one person to another, but this can be prevented by simply using only your own toothbrush. By avoiding using other people’s toothbrushes you will prevent the mixing of bacteria and plaque, protecting the health of yourself as well as others.
Although some of you may feel that sharing your toothbrush is the height of generosity, it can leave you susceptible to a myriad of oral and general health problems. It’s not the same as kissing or sharing cutlery with your partner, as brushing can sometimes cause bleeding gums, exposing anyone who subsequently uses your brush to diseases carried in the blood. There can potentially be thousands of different viruses and bacteria in our mouths and blood, and whilst some can be harmless (like a cold sore or common cold), if the person you’re sharing the toothbrush with has a more dangerous condition such as HIV or hepatitis B, the health consequences can be severe.
Sharing your toothbrush is a great example of a bad habit that can negatively affect the health of your mouth. However, there are many habits that can have a positive impact, not only for your oral health but for your quality of life too. Regularly visiting your dentist, brushing for 2 minutes twice a day, and reducing the amount of sugar in your diet are all examples of great habits you should be practising- your oral health will thank you! If you would like to book an appointment with us at Strand on the Green Dental Practice to discuss any aspect of your oral health, just call us on 020 8995 0298 and we’ll book you in as soon as possible.