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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 200-205

Evaluation of microbial contamination of toothbrushes and their decontamination using various disinfectants: An in vitro study

1 ECHS Polyclinic, Thrissur, Kerala, India
2 Department of Periodontics, Sri Siddhartha Dental College, Tumakuru, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Periodontics, Sri Hasanamba Dental College, Hassan, Karnataka, India
4 Department of Periodontics, Manipal University College, Malaysia

Correspondence Address:
Sowmya Sadanandan
Department of Periodontics, Sri Hasanamba Dental College, Vidyanagar, Hassan - 573 201, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jiaphd.jiaphd_113_21

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Background: Toothbrush often gets contaminated with use and also during storage. Although many toothbrush disinfection methods are mentioned in the past literature. To date there no absolute consensus on the topic. Aims: This study aimed to evaluate the microbial contamination of toothbrushes and their decontamination using various disinfectants. Subjects and Methods: An in vitro study was carried out on 80 subjects with a gingival index (Loe and Silness, 1963) score of two or three received toothbrush and paste with complete oral hygiene instructions. After 1 month, toothbrushes were collected and checked for microbial contamination by aerobic culture. Toothbrushes were divided into four groups (n = 20) and treated with one of the following agents: Group A – 0.2% chlorhexidine gluconate, Group B – Listerine, Group C – Dettol, and Group D – tap water for 1 h. After an hour, the brushes were further cultured to evaluate the efficacy of each agent. Statistical procedures were performed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) 16 software. Inferential statistics were performed using Chi-square analysis. P < 0.05 was set as statistically significant. Results: All the sampled toothbrushes had significant (P < 0.001) bacterial growth after 1 month of use. Most of the brushes were contaminated with Escherichia coli (17.1%). All the tested disinfectants significantly (P < 0.001) reduced bacterial growth and Dettol showed maximum effectiveness (95.3%). Conclusions: Toothbrushes significantly get contaminated after use, which is reduced after disinfecting the brushes. Although not 100% effective, all the disinfectants significantly reduced the bacteria, and Dettol was found to be comparatively better than other agents.

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