I’m a dental hygienist – here’s why you should share toothbrushes and the step you can skip | The Sun

SHARING a toothbrush is something that most people think is pretty unhygienic.

But one dental hygienist has said you can do this and that it can also save you money.

Jessica O'Connor said that a whole family can have one electric toothbrush, with each member changing the head.

The 31-year-old said you should go for supermarket own brand tops – and there is no need to splash out on heads that match the brush body.

Jessica, from Little Port, Cambridgeshire, said: "All my patients are always advised to get an electric toothbrush.

"The difference between manual and electric is the difference between a broom and a hoover. Electric is so much more effective.

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"Of course I understand everyone is struggling for money, so a great way to cut down on costs is just to get one toothbrush – there's always one on offer – and then buy multiple heads.

"When you buy a pack of four heads they all come with a different coloured band at the bottom, and you can also buy different toothbrush head protectors so you can all share the toothbrush body."

She added that after use, you should just wipe down the brush.


Brushing and flossing is key when it comes to dental hygiene, but Jessica said thereis one part of your oral health routine that you can leave out altogether.

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"To be honest, I would advise just not to use mouthwash, to save your money.

"The way to keep your mouth clean is to get rid of plaque, so if you're brushing correctly and cleaning the teeth there shouldn't be any plaque there, and mouthwash doesn't remove it as such anyway.

"So really, you can just brush and floss and have a really healthy mouth and not need to spend your money on mouthwash."

For people who want to keep their smile bright, Jessica said you should be mindful of the pressure you apply when brushing.

She said: "All the good electric toothbrushes nowadays have something called a pressure sensor.

"That helps with maintaining the correct pressure and it also helps keep your teeth white.

"If you put too much pressure on with a manual toothbrush it's actually thin in the enamel and the underneath layer, called the dentin, is the yellow or brown colour of the tooth.

"So the hard you're brushing the thinner the enamel, the more yellow your teeth are going to get.

"Just use nice gentle pressure or an electric toothbrush with a pressure sensor to keep teeth nice and white."

Although Jess said dental check ups can be expensive for people trying to cut budgets, she emphasised how important they are.

"It is really, really important to go and have your dental check up.

"Not only are we there just looking at your teeth, but we do like oral cancer checks, and we can tell so much by someone's mouth like detecting HIV and diabetes.

"There's so many general health issues that can be detected in the mouth that you necessarily wouldn't be aware of. So having your routine check up is super, super important.

"I understand it is expensive, but in the long, long run, it is better to go and have your general check to prevent health issues that you might not be aware of."

She added that a lot of dentists have now started up plans where you pay you get two dental check ups and two hygiene visits a year.

The expert added that this works out cheaper than if you were paying for your care privately.

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"At about £8 per session so it might be worth speaking to your dentist and seeing if they are signed up," she said.

Jessica shares tips and tricks through her TikTok and Instagram accounts @jesspotter_xx.

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