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How often have you been told that you should brush your teeth? You should remember to brush your teeth twice every day. When you brush, please remember to do so for two minutes at a time and try to start in a different area of your mouth every time. But do you know what you should do if you don’t have your toothbrush with you? Would you be surprised to learn that one thing you definitely shouldn’t do is use another person’s brush?

As you may know, everyone has different bacteria in their mouth. Toothbrushes can actually harbor bad bacteria, and if you share a toothbrush, you could be sharing bad bacteria. The bacteria that cause cavities are also contagious, so sharing a brush can actually leave you more vulnerable to cavities. Many toothbrushes can also harbor blood, since many individuals bleed when they brush or floss. If you use a brush with someone else’s blood on it, you could find yourself with diseases like herpes, hepatitis, and HPV. Sharing saliva can also leave you more vulnerable to yeast infections and to pneumonia.

But what can you do if you find yourself without a brush? You could consider using your finger. Admittedly, this option isn’t ideal, but will work in emergency situations. Using mouthwash may be helpful as well. If you’re worried about bad breath, there are certain foods and drinks that could be helpful, such as apples and peppermint tea.

If you have any questions about sharing a toothbrush, please don’t hesitate to contact Melissa Maus & Associates at 415-781-0819. Dr. Melissa Maus and our team will be happy to answer any questions you have. We’re eager to hear from you soon.