Everyone rinses their toothbrush after they brush their teeth. And we always remind our patients that they should change their toothbrush every few months.
This is for a variety of reasons, one of which is that your bristles get splayed and do not clean your teeth as well as they should. Another reason we advise this is because your toothbrush can hold bacteria.
Though most bacteria die after being exposed to the air, if you have bleeding gums, periodontal disease, or an illness like the flu, the bacteria from these conditions can be transferred to your toothbrush back into your mouth. If your gums bleed, these bacteria can get into your bloodstream and cause you health problems.
Can Other People Be Affected?
You may think that since you rinse your toothbrush well, all is fine. But sharing a toothbrush brings different issues. You are no longer concerned with your health, but that of someone else. Likewise, if the person you share your toothbrush with has health issues, they can be transmitted to you. So, what do you have to worry about?
If you or the person you are sharing your toothbrush with has bleeding gums, their bacteria can enter your bloodstream. Your toothbrush can be harboring the strep virus which is responsible for MRSA infections. Strep is also the bacteria that causes tooth decay.
If you or your friend don't rinse your toothbrush properly, it can hold onto food particles from whatever either of you ate. This could be particularly dangerous for someone who has food allergies. If you are particle is left on the toothbrush after they use it, when you use it you could have an allergic reaction and not even realize the toothbrush was the reason.
Certain viruses such as herpes can be transmitted through toothbrushes as can fungi like candida. Your toothbrush can act as a petri dish for fungi. Our advice, obviously, is to bite the bullet and get an extra toothbrush or two for guests.
EASY TO FIND LOCATION At the corner of State Ave. & Grove St. Next to the Marysville Safeway Plaza