Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Share a Toothbrush

According to the findings of a new study one in four Brits don’t mind sharing their toothbrush with others. Commissioned by the Oral Health Foundation and Philips, as part of National Smile Month 2019, it discovered that more than a quarter of the population admit to sharing their toothbrush with a family member, friend or partner. The poll showed that men are more likely to allow someone to borrow their toothbrush (32%) than women (20%)

The Oral Health Foundation is advising people against the idea of sharing their toothbrush as it can lead to a number of health problems.

  • Brushing can cause gums to bleed which exposes everyone you share your toothbrush with to blood stream diseases. Sharing blood is a lot riskier that just swapping saliva.
  • According to the study published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology the mouth is home to more than 700 species of bacteria. This bacteria can be shared via kissing, drinking out of the same cup or someone else’s toothbrush. Whilst not all are harmful, some can lead to infection and illness. This could just be a cold or cold sore but more serious illnesses such as hepatitis or HIV can also be passed via a toothbrush.
  • A borrowed toothbrush can expose you to what someone else had for dinner especially if they didn’t rinse their toothbrush properly.

Other findings show that younger people are more willing to share a toothbrush with a stranger. The research is part of National Smile Month, a charity campaign by the Oral Health Foundation that promotes the benefits of good oral health. The #habits4life campaign encourages simple messages such as visiting your dentist regularly, brushing for 2 minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and reducing the amount of sugar in your diet will help improve oral health and wellbeing.

If you have forgotten your toothbrush use your finger to brush your teeth with toothpaste or use a mouthwash or even eat an apple or floss, all will help give you fresher breath. Although skipping brushing isn’t ideal its better than sharing a toothbrush.

Rinse your toothbrush with water after every use and store it in an upright position, separate from other brushes.

If you would like any further advice please feel free to contact the Mayhill on 01600 712020 or email

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Share a Toothbrush

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