Is it gross to share your toothbrush with your partner? Some people think it is, while others consider it perfectly normal
Being in a relationship involves respecting each other, talking about your feelings, and supporting each other's hopes and dreams. But can it go too far when it comes to personal hygiene? Would you be okay with sharing your toothbrush with your significant other? People seem to be divided about this like this person on the forum Mumsnet discovered. According to Cafe Mom, a poster recounted how a character on the show Real Housewives shared a toothbrush with her husband. They wrote: Just spent a productive afternoon discovering the delights of Real Housewives of Dallas and Stephanie's husband bought her a new toothbrush as part of an anniversary present to stop her from using his. AIBU to think that sharing food debris, plaque and morning mouth grot with your beloved is beyond gross?
Surprisingly, most couples found this to be absolutely normal and called out the hypocrisy of people being okay sexual encounters but draw the line at toothbrush sharing. FelictyJaneGrace questioned: Is it anymore gross than oral sex? Deltoids1 crassly pointed out: You put his penis inside you, but a toothbrush is too gross? ImInYourMindFuzz asked: Assuming you wash your toothbrush after use? Is it any worse than kissing / other intimate actions? Of course, there were others who vehemently disagreed. lboogy clarified: And I don't use the same towel either.I've seen him floss his butt with the towel. DramaAlpaca shared: Yuck no. I've been with Dear Husband for over 30 years and we've never once shared a toothbrush. A third added: The thought makes me shudder.
Divisive opinions aside, is it really healthy to do so? According to National Dental Care, it states: You share everything with your partner, so should you share a toothbrush? From transferring bacteria to contracting sickness, sharing a toothbrush poses a threat to your teeth and gums, regardless if you have good oral hygiene or not. When using a toothbrush other than your own, you expose your teeth and gums to new bacteria, and it may not play nicely with the bacteria your body already knows. The particular mix of bacteria in your mouth is unique to you, so introducing new bacteria makes it possible to easily catch a cold, flu, or other germs from the bristles of your partner’s toothbrush. You won’t realize it when it happens, and even if your partner is clean and isn’t suffering from a condition like a cold sore, using their brush spreads bacteria regardless, putting your teeth and gums at risk. The reality is, couples spread bacteria in many ways, whether it’s through kissing, holding hands, or sharing food and drinks. Although this is normal behavior, the spread of bacteria can be managed by using mouthwash, regularly washing your hands, and avoid sharing a toothbrush no matter how close you and your partner are. So there you have it. You can't argue with science, now, can you?
This is a thing?!?!?!— bea, not bae 💎🇵🇭 (@beababyy) March 13, 2020
Actually, I ain’t surprised. Mfs don’t even wash their hands.
While couples can spread bacteria in other ways, experts believe sharing a toothbrush is far riskier. Kenneth Magid, a dentist at Advanced Dentistry of Westchester in Harrison, New York told VICE, "There may be a higher concentration of certain bacteria on a toothbrush since the toothbrush's job is to actually break up the bacteria-containing build-up." What's worse? "Some individuals suffer oral conditions that simply are not worthy of sharing," said Gary Glassman, a Toronto-based dentist who travels the world to speak on the importance of maintaining great oral health. This includes microbes like staph, E. coli, and Pseudomonas, beta-hemolytic streptococcus ("strep"), a bacteria that causes strep throat, resulting in sickness, a sore throat, fever, cough, swollen lymph nodes and difficulty in swallowing. "Mutant strains of strep cause dental cavities," warned Glassman.
However, if you are a staunch toothbrush sharer, there's a silver lining of sorts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) admitted to being "unaware of any adverse health effects directly related to toothbrush use." UK periodontist Eugene Gamble confirmed that "the chances of transmitting disease-causing bacteria that wouldn't already be in the mouth are remote." If neither of you has an infectious disease or a compromised immune system it might not be that harmful. Genet said that "the danger factor is minimal since the body has an excellent immune system," adding that, "If it's a choice of brushing or not brushing our teeth, share as long as you know the owner of the toothbrush." We'd still like to pass, though. Thanks.