Is It Ever Okay To Share A Toothbrush With Someone? (You Can Probably Guess The Answer)

Sharing a toothbrush with someone — be it a partner, lover, or sibling — probably sounds gross to most of us. However, if you don't see what the fuss is about, you're not alone. In fact, a survey conducted by the British Dental Journal found that more than 60% of people would be happy to share a toothbrush with not just their partner or children, but even friends and celebrities! So, yes — it may not be such an uncommon practice after all.


On the other hand, popular statistics definitely do not make doing so okay. There really is no other way to say it. It is never okay to share a toothbrush with anyone, no matter how closely bonded or intimate you may be with them. However, if you're still not convinced, we've outlined exactly what goes on during the exchange, and why you should avoid doing so at all costs. If you do feel like sharing a toothbrush with someone is something you want to do to build intimacy and a closer relationship, we can guarantee there are far better, more hygienic alternatives.

It is never okay

So, what exactly makes two people using one toothbrush so repulsive? Is there even a valid concern for it? The answer is yes. You see, sharing a toothbrush with another person differs completely from sharing food, utensils, or kissing them. With all of these examples, you're essentially swapping saliva with another human being. Unless you have a particular aversion to it, this is totally fine, and we believe you'd also agree. Sharing a toothbrush, however, is a whole other exchange that involves bacteria, plaque, and whatever else might be on the surface of your teeth and tongue.


This makes sharing a toothbrush a serious health concern. Your toothbrush and mouth consist of an almost immeasurable amount of bacteria, such as streptococcus mutans and even viruses. This makes you extremely susceptible to catching illnesses if you share. Yes, even with someone you love. So if you do want to share your partner's (or anyone's) toothbrush, maybe think twice. No — definitely think twice.

Setting healthy boundaries

On the other hand, if you have a partner or sibling that wants to share your toothbrush but you're not so keen on doing so, it may be time to set healthy boundaries. Setting healthy boundaries doesn't mean you have to hurt their feelings or push them away. In fact, communicating your needs clearly and making sure both parties in a relationship are comfortable and feel heard is what makes up the foundation of a long-lasting and fulfilling relationship.


In order to set a boundary, you could start by introspecting on what exactly makes you uncomfortable about sharing a toothbrush with the other party. This will make it easier for you to communicate the same to them. After you have communicated your boundary and the reasoning behind it to your partner clearly, make sure you stay consistent with it. This will make sure you are not putting yourself in an uncomfortable situation — while also not allowing the other party to put you in an uncomfortable position.

Building intimacy

One reason you or your partner may feel the need to share a toothbrush is to build intimacy. It might make you feel closer to the other person and vice versa. However, this should not be done at the risk of your health. There are a plethora of other intimacy-building activities and practices you could consider instead.


For example, a great way to improve relationship intimacy is to build physical intimacy – and no, this does not just apply to sex. While sex is a brilliant way to form a deep intimate bond with someone, there are other physical intimacy-building habits such as hugging, cuddling, or even holding hands. Physical touch, in all its forms, can be a beautiful way to cultivate a sense of closeness and connection. Additionally, you could also consider spending more quality time with your partner or working on your communication styles. These types of bonding can create a heightened sense of understanding in a relationship — without having to share a toothbrush.