Be honest — you've shared a toothbrush before. Maybe you were staying at your sister's house and forgot yours, or perhaps you met someone special and had an unexpected sleepover. Either way, I'm betting you've tried someone else's toothbrush before. In addition to the yuck factor, sharing toothbrushes puts you at risk for infection.
"Your mouth is the gateway to your health," Dr. Sanda Moldovan, a certified nutritionist and periodontist, told me. "Unfortunately, when you share a toothbrush, you are opening that gateway to a lot of problems you'd be better off avoiding."
There are a number of reasons why sharing your toothbrush is dangerous to your health. "When some people brush, their gums bleed," Dr. Moldovan said. "That can result in exposure to bacteria and viruses that can enter the bloodstream." Our toothbrushes can also hang onto bacteria, food particles, viruses, and fungi. "One of the most common oral infections, periodontitis, can be spread via the toothbrush. There are a lot of implications to that, such as the potential loss of teeth," explained Dr. Moldovan. "In this case, it's also not just a problem that's limited to the mouth. Periodontal disease can affect the whole body."