Bacterial contamination and decontamination of toothbrushes after use.

Department of Community Dentistry, Jaipur Dental College, India.
The New York state dental journal 05/2007; 73(3):20-2.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to determine the extent of bacterial contamination of toothbrushes after use and the efficacy of chlorhexidine and Listerine in decontaminating toothbrushes. The effectiveness of covering a toothbrush head with a plastic cap in preventing contamination was also evaluated. It was found that 70% of the used toothbrushes were heavily contaminated with different pathogenic microorganisms. Use of a cap leads to growth of opportunistic microorganisms like Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which may cause infection in the oral cavity. Overnight immersion of a toothbrush in chlorhexidine gluconate (0.2%) was found to be highly effective in preventing such microbial contamination.

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    ABSTRACT: Toothbrushes are rapidly contaminated with different microorganisms representing a possible cause of infection or reinfection especially in the periodontal patients under therapy. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the sanitization of toothbrushes previously contaminated by various oral microorganisms using a domestic microwave oven and commercial ultraviolet (UV) light toothbrush sanitizer. Thirty male dental graduates were randomly assigned to control or experimental groups and received standardized toothbrushes for home use. Each subject was instructed to use it with the standardized modified Bass technique for 1 week and submit it to the investigator after use. Collected toothbrushes were cultured and analyzed for the number of colony-forming units (CFUs). In the next phase, once again a new set of toothbrush was given to each subject and instructed to use it for one more week and follow the same instructions as given earlier. Subsequently, the used toothbrushes were again collected and were sanitized by microwave irradiation, UV radiation, or were not sanitized (control group). After the sanitization procedure, toothbrushes were again cultured for the number of CFUs. The collected data of the presanitized and postsanitized CFU count were log transformed to normalize their distributions prior to analysis. Furthermore, log CFU data were compared and analyzed by one-way ANOVA, Tukey's post hoc procedure, and paired t-test for the difference in the mean at P<0.05. Result showed that after the sanitization procedure, there was a significant (P<0.001) reduction in microbial contamination in both microwave and UV group toothbrushes compared to control group toothbrushes whereas the microbial count in the microwave group was significantly less (P<0.001) compared to the UV group. The evidence presented in this study suggests that microwave irradiation is an effective disinfectant agent for bacteria and fungi on toothbrushes.
    03/2011; 1(1):20-6. DOI:10.4103/2231-0762.86383
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    ABSTRACT: To assess and compare the efficacy of 3% garlic extract, 0.2% tea tree oil, 0.2% chlorhexidine, 0.05% cetylpyridinium chloride, and ultravoilet (UV) toothbrush sanitizing device as toothbrush disinfectants against Streptococcus mutans. A double blind randomized controlled parallel study was done on 210 dental students. The subjects were divided into one control group using distilled water and five study groups representing 0.2% tea tree oil, 3% garlic extract, 0.2% chlorhexidine gluconate, 0.05% cetylpyridinium chloride and UV toothbrush sanitizing device. Participants were provided with new toothbrushes and toothpastes for both baseline and intervention phases. The toothbrushes were collected after two weeks for microbial analysis in both phases. The data were analysed and compared using appropriate statistical analysis. On comparing pre- and post-intervention, S. mutans colony counts, a highly significant (P < 0.001) difference was observed in all the groups. Differences of 77.74 colony forming units (CFU) in tea tree oil group, 102.87 CFU in garlic group, 68.13 CFU in chlorhexidine group, 82.47 CFU in cetylpyridinium group and 42.67 CFU in UV toothbrush sanitizer group were observed. Garlic group showed the highest reduction (100%) whereas UV toothbrush sanitizer group showed the least reduction (47.4%) in S. mutans colonies. The antimicrobial agents used in this study effectively reduced the S. mutans counts and hence can be considered as toothbrush disinfectants to prevent dental caries. The 3% garlic was the most effective among the antimicrobial agents.
    10/2014; 5(4):183-9. DOI:10.4103/0975-962X.144718
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: This study evaluated the rate of microbial contamination of toothbrushes used by students and established a protocol for the spraying of 0.12% chlorhexidine to decrease the bacterial presence on the bristles of the brushes. METHODS: We performed cultures on selective and nonselective media from toothbrushes used by Dentistry students from State University of West Paraná (Unioeste/PR) to identify and quantify the number of total and specific microorganisms. For the chlorhexidine test, a crossover and double-blind study was conducted, with a random selection of volunteers. Each experimental phase consisted of fourteen days of brushing and an interval of seven days between treatments. For the test, thirty volunteers, divided into three groups of 10, using new toothbrushes, sprayed with either water or 0.12% chlorhexidine gluconate at different intervals (once or three times daily) after brushing. For statistical analysis, we used main effects ANOVA, and a P-value<0.05 was considered significant. RESULTS: There was microbial growth on 91% of the used toothbrushes, with 81.3% showing growth of Streptococcus. In 56.3% of the brushes, Staphylococcus and Enterobacteriaceae developed. The use of the chlorhexidine spray only three times per day was significantly more effective than water. CONCLUSION: Even in a group that knows the ideal conditions for the storage of toothbrushes, much microbial contamination still exists on the toothbrushes. A lower bacterial load can be obtained from the simple and inexpensive act of spraying chlorhexidine on the toothbrush after every brushing of the day.
    12/2011; 27(3):213-217. DOI:10.1590/S1980-65232012000300007


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