Toothbrushing habits linked and Covid-19

Sharing toothbrushes and other ill-advised oral hygiene measures could play an influential role in spreading Covid-19, according to new research. The latest study showed that sharing a toothbrush, toothpaste, the same container for brushes, and not changing your brush after the viral process, are all possible routes of cross-contamination of coronavirus.

The investigation monitored hundreds of families over the course of 15 days and found over half (55%) of Covid-positive people who share a toothbrush passed the virus onto other family members in the household.

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, believes oral hygiene habits like sharing toothbrushes are linked to the transmission of many diseases and should be discouraged.

Dr Carter says: “There are many hundreds of different bacteria and viruses in our mouths and those sharing a toothbrush could be passing these on to others. While this might be something relatively harmless, such as a common cold or cold sore, if the person you are sharing with is infected with viruses like hepatitis B and now coronavirus, these could also be passed on via the toothbrush, with severe health consequences”.

In addition to sharing a toothbrush, the research published in BMC Oral Health, discovered an even greater risk for families leaving their toothbrushes in the same container. Two in three (66%) people who tested positive for coronavirus and who share a toothbrush container with family members passed the virus on to them. Further findings showed the same tube of toothpaste should also not be used between members of the same family.