By now, you’ve been warned about the risks of excess sugar, eating acidic foods, and drinking too many sodas. It is well known that those are common factors in developing tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.
But did you know that cavities are contagious? That’s right, even if you practice perfect oral hygiene, you may face a future of costly and painful dental procedures if a loved one in your life doesn’t.
Sharing is Not Caring
When people talk about sharing, they normally tout the virtues of unconditional generosity. This is not the case when it comes to your casein. Just like colds, flus, and other diseases, the bacteria that cause cavities and other oral health issues can be inadvertently shared among peers.
While sugary drinks may contribute to rotten teeth, it is more likely to be sharing that drink with your foul-mouthed friend that will allow the harmful bacteria to spread from their plaque-plagued oral orifice into your previously pristine mouth.
Even worse is borrowing a toothbrush – you may think that you are freshening up, but in reality you are smearing all of their recently removed buildup evenly over your own teeth. It is analogous to borrowing their used, crumpled, disease-ridden handkerchief to sneeze into yourself, and then wondering how you caught their cold.
The ADA recommends that you rinse your toothbrush in warm water after every use, and allow it to air dry before using again. If more than one brush is present (shared holders, for example), it is important to keep their bristles from touching. Furthermore, you should replace your brush every 3-4 months, whenever the bristles become brittle or frayed – or if you suspect someone has been using your brush!
This solo practice extends to more than just dental hygiene, but also general hygiene as well. You never know if they have developed other communicable diseases, are experiencing an infection, or even have been unknowingly exposed to allergens that they can then expose you to.
Passing around dental healthcare products is bad for yourself and for those you share with, but if you still can’t resist the urge, instead link this article to your friends and family. It is one share that your teeth will thank you for!