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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 444-448

Contaminated tooth brushes-potential threat to oral and general health

1 Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Bapuji Dental College and Hospital, Davangere, India
2 Anil Neerukonda Institute of Dental Sciences, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India
3 MS Ramaiah Dental College, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rashmi Naik
Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Bapuji Dental College and Hospital, Davangere, Karnataka - 577 004
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.161350

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Background: Tooth brushing is most common method of maintaining oral hygiene. In removing plaque and other soft debris from the teeth, tooth brushes become contaminated with bacteria, blood, saliva and oral debris. These contaminated tooth brushes can be a source of infection. Aims and objectives: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the presence of microorganisms in the tooth brushes and to investigate the effect of disinfectants such as chlorhexidine gluconate, sodium hypochlorite and water to decontaminate them. Materials and Methods: Twenty-one children were asked to brush their teeth for 5 days with a tooth brush. The tooth brushes were put in Robertson's Cooked Meat broth and were observed for growth of Streptococcal microorganisms. These tooth brushes were then placed in disinfectants such as 0.2% chlorhexidine gluconate (Group I), 1% sodium hypochlorite (Group II) and water (Group III) for 24 hrs and then cultured again. Reduction of growth of microorganisms was seen in Group I, Group II and remnants of growth seen in Group III. Conclusion: We conclude that the use of disinfectant for a tooth brush is a must for every individual at least at regular intervals.

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