Sharing a toothbrush
Image: Courtesy

A little over a week ago, Diana Marua and her hubby Bahati shocked netizens after dropping a video of them sharing a toothbrush without rinsing it.

The video caused an uproar among netizens with most musing that love ought to have boundaries, while others felt that such levels of intimacy was the goal.

Shortly after, Anita Nderu Raftery joined the chat revealing that she shares her toothbrush with her almost 2-year-old toddler, Kaya albeit unwillingly.


This got me thinking, sharing a toothbrush is it a yay or a big no? So I went out to gather facts from the universe and someone in the dentistry field.

In the realm of intimacy, there are lines drawn in the sand, and one of those lines should definitely be around the humble toothbrush, a view Dr. Kamau (name changed) a dentist at Astra Dental Care, Nairobi shares with me.

Bahati and Diana Marua sharing a tooothbrush
Image: COURTESY/ Instagram

While sharing is often touted as a cornerstone of healthy relationships, there are certain things, like toothbrushes, that should remain sacred territory even within the closest of bonds.

Here's why, and some tips on how to keep your toothbrush gleaming without crossing that boundary.


The Intimacy Barrier:


Picture this: you wake up, bleary-eyed, and stumble into the bathroom, reaching for your toothbrush. But wait, it's not where you left it.

Your significant other is standing there, toothbrush in hand, about to go to town on their pearly whites, cue the cringe.

Sharing a toothbrush might seem like the epitome of closeness, but it's also a one-way ticket to a bacterial party. Our mouths are teeming with bacteria, some of which can lead to gum disease, cavities, or even strep throat. Do you really want to swap saliva with your partner's streptococci?

"Brushing sometimes causes the gums to bleed sometimes it's slight that you won't really notice. This exposes everyone who shares a toothbrush to bloodstream diseases.

So you guys might be sharing blood, which is a lot riskier than simply mixing saliva," Dr. Kamau shared during a candid sit-down that this writer had with him.

Image: Courtesy

Personal Space, Please:

In a world where personal space is often compromised, your toothbrush should be off-limits. It's a small yet significant boundary that reinforces individual hygiene practices.

Plus, let's be honest, using someone else's toothbrush feels like a violation of privacy – like reading their diary or wearing their underwear. Keep the romance alive by maintaining a bit of mystery in your oral hygiene routine.

Besides personal space, dental hygienist Dr. Kamau adds, "much of the bacteria plaque remain on the bristles of your brush, that is why you have to clean it regularly and change it after 3 months. So by sharing a brush y'all are sharing personal bacteria's as well because your mouth is filled with billions of microbes collectively called the oral microbiome and every person's mix of microbes is different."

What's the big issue though? People swap saliva all the time while kissing I ask Dr. Kamau quite perplexed. He chuckles revealing he was expecting the question.

He goes on to explain that making out and brushing teeth are two very different things.

"Kissing absolutely exposes you to someone's saliva and the viruses that can be lurking there exactly why when someone has a cold or sore throat we avoid the deed. Brushing, however, goes the extra mile.

Bacteria hides underneath your gums, the toothbrush's bristles stir up the periodontal bacteria in your mouth working to break up plaque.

Even a very passionate kiss is not going to disrupt plaque and bring about bleeding so the germs that would be transferred from a make out session and while brushing your teeth are completely different," Dr. Kamau shares,

Image: Courtesy

Cleaning Counts:

Now, onto the practical stuff. Keeping your toothbrush clean is essential for maintaining good oral health – and for peace of mind if you're a germaphobe.

First things first, rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after each use to remove any lingering toothpaste and saliva. Store it upright in a holder to allow for air circulation and prevent cross-contamination with other brushes.

Every few days, give your toothbrush a deep clean by soaking it in an antibacterial mouthwash or hydrogen peroxide solution. And don't forget to replace your toothbrush regularly ideally every three to four months to keep it in tip-top shape

While sharing is caring in many aspects of life, when it comes to toothbrushes, it's best to keep things solo.

By maintaining your own toothbrush and respecting your partner's personal space, you'll not only safeguard your oral health but also preserve the sanctity of your relationship one brush stroke at a time.

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