YOU USE A TOOTHBRUSH THAT ISN’T YOURS
THE WORST THAT COULD HAPPEN
In theory, it’s pretty grim: you could get periodontal disease or, if the toothbrush owner currently has a fever blister, oral herpes, which causes cold sores. If your gums bleed and bacteria enters your bloodstream, you’re also at risk of hepatitis, HIV and other communicable diseases.
WHAT WILL PROBABLY HAPPEN
If the toothbrush owner has a cold, you might get one, too. The reality is that people who live together will spread bacteria in many ways, such as by kissing and sharing drinks, says dentist Dr Justin Sycamore. “Sharing a toothbrush is gross, but it’s probably not much more harmful than many of the other things couples and families do.” Still freaked out? Grab a strong mouthwash. “If you rinse with it immediately after the toothbrush contact, you should minimise the exposure,” Sycamore says.