Brushing your teeth can cause microscopic tears in your mouth that make bacteria transmission easier.
Flossing or brushing right before or after oral sex may make your breath smell better, but can also tear the lining of the gums, increasing potential exposure to any virus, if present.
University Health Centre from the University of Georgia warned people not brush or floss their teeth right before you have oral sex. Flossing and brushing can sometimes cause your gums to bleed. If you wish to freshen your breath before oral sex, try mouthwash instead recommends the institution.
Well + Good explains that if you cut your gums while brushing your teeth – which is a common thing that can happen while flossing and brushing – you could make yourself more susceptible to contracting certain diseases and infections.
“When it comes to oral sex, STIs are easily transmitted if you have mouth sores or your gums bleed when you brush your teeth,” says Erika Schwartz, MD, an internist who specialises in disease prevention.
“Any areas of the body where the integrity of the skin or mucosal surface is broken – cut in the mouth, scratch on the skin – increases risk of getting sick if the area isn’t cleaned, and your immune system isn’t in good shape.”
Besides avoiding brushing, the pros recommend you do a mouth check before giving oral sex.
Make sure you don’t have sores, wounds, gum disease, ulcers, cuts, herpes, or infections in your mouth.
Condoms or dental dams are the best way to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections and diseases.