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Sharing is not always caring

May 19, 2022 Family dentistry

When it comes to sharing a toothbrush, sharing is definitely not caring.
There are a number of people who appear to be completely unfazed when it comes using their partners toothbrush. Everyone has a unique set of bacteria that reside in their oral cavity. If you use another person’s toothbrush, you will expose your teeth and gums to new bacteria, which may not always react well with the bacteria your body already knows.
The introduction of new bacteria can potentially upset mix currently in your mouth. Upsetting the mix in your own mouth may increase your risk of an infection. You won’t realise it when it happens, however you could be introducing bacteria or viruses that may put your teeth and gums and potentially general health at risk of disease.
Not only should you never share a toothbrush with another person, you should also aim to replace your toothbrush every three months. After approximately three months, the effectiveness of the brush is reduced and should be replaced. The idea of using a hard or medium brush to increase your toothbrushes life span is also false economy. Hard toothbrushes have a greater chance of causing tooth brush abrasion, wearing down the sides of a tooth, as well as leading to gum recession.
The other part of the oral hygiene regime is of course flossing. When flossing it is best to follow a few simple steps:
1. Use about 40cm of floss, wrapped around a finger on either hand with about 5cm left to floss your teeth.
2. Hold the floss taut with your thumb or index fingers
3. Gently glide the floss up and down while rubbing it against the side of your teeth.
4. Bend the floss around the curve of the tooth to remove debris, Remember, teeth are curved so moving the floss up and down will not remove the plaque from the tooth surface. The surface needs to be rubbed with the floss.
5. Repeat the above process between every tooth.
Good oral hygiene is important for healthy teeth and gums, not to mention your overall health. So, in short, it is best to use a soft or extra soft toothbrush and replace it regularly. Always keep your toothbrush to yourself, floss regularly and maintain regular six-monthly dental appointments to keep things in tip-top shape.