Do You Share Your Toothbrush?
NO WAY! you say, because that’s just gross! All those bugs living on those bristles are just dying to find another warm place to live, like someone’s mouth!
I remember when i was in college I saw many kids sharing toothbrushes by just disinfecting them with a little mouthwash. After all, Listerine kills 99.9% of germs, right? Well, although that may be true, there are other diseases that can get transferred via your toothbrush.
Take, for example, viruses like mononucleosis or Hepatitis C or HIV. If someone’s gums are bleeding, then the virus can survive on the bristles and re-infect the next person using that toothbrush. You might think the risk of that happening is small, but think again. A recent study in Hong Kong showed that Hepatitis B transmission by sharing a toothbrush or razor was appreciated by 41% of the subjects, second only to sexual contact.
Anther study looked at the virus present on the brushes of Hep C patient and showed that more than 30% of the toothbrushes were contaminated.
So what’s the lesson from all this? Kids are starting college, going away for the first time. Remind them that sharing a toothbrush or a razor is not safe. The bacteria is the least of our problems, even though periodontal causing bugs are also transmissible. But Hepatitis B or C are a lot more difficult to treat once a person is infected.