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Beyond the ‘yuck’ factor, sharing your toothbrush can lead to many health-related issues.
When health officials discovered a hepatitis A outbreak in California this summer, they swiftly issued health warnings about how to avoid the disease.
Among the many suggestions: Don’t share toothbrushes.
Yes, people actually do that. In fact, millennials once told pollsters they would be more apt to share their toothbrushes with someone than their cellphones, and an Irish health study revealed that one-third of adults admitted to sharing a toothbrush.
Beyond the “yuck” factor, that’s a bad idea on a lot of different levels health-wise, says Dr. Sanda Moldovan, a certified nutritionist, periodontist and author of the upcoming book "Heal Up!"
That simple act of sharing a toothbrush can compromise your health in more ways than you might imagine.
“Your mouth is the gateway to your health,” Moldovan says. “Unfortunately, when you share a toothbrush you are opening that gateway to a lot of problems you’d be better off avoiding.”
Many of those problems, she says, are serious and some come with long-term implications. Among the reasons not to share:
Many of the problems lurking in those bristles also are good reasons to regularly dispose of your toothbrush and replace it with a new one, Moldovan says.
“There are plenty of things in the world you can share,” she says. “A toothbrush doesn’t need to be one of them.”