How Contaminated Is Your Toothbrush…?

Good dental practice is imperative for dental health. Despite the fact that toothbrushes clean and make our teeth shiny, they themselves can get contaminated and aid to promote the dental diseases. Generally, toothbrushes are kept in bathrooms which are favorite reservoirs of all the deadly microorganisms. Toothbrushes are exposed to the humid conditions in the bathrooms, which can harbor various pathogenic organisms.

Numerous studies conducted states that toothbrushes mostly get contaminated by different species of micro-organisms such as Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Lactobacilli, Pseudomonas, Klebsiella, Escherichia coli and Candida. These microorganisms are thought to be cause of dental diseases such as dental caries, gingivitis, stomatitis, infective endocarditis in an individual. Studies corresponds to the facts that these bacterial transmissions and contaminations on toothbrushes are also associated with heart diseases (infective endocarditis), arthritis, bacteremia and strokes. Also, the moisture promotes the growth such as washing with plain water and all storing the toothbrushes with each other in the same container, providing ideal place to harbor millions of microorganisms.

Toothbrush has also been categorized as a mean of microbial growth, transport and retention, making them suitable for bacterial reinfection. Besides the problem for reinfection, toothbrushes also act as reservoir for originating different diseases. The researchers at University of São Paulo, Brazil carried out experiment to find out types of contamination present on toothbrushes which indicated that tooth brushes contained both the aerobic and non-aerobic bacteria. The researchers obtained black pigment on ASK medium, indicating anaerobic Gram-negative rods that includes: Porphyromonas, Prevotella and Bacteroides that are strongly associated with periodontal diseases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports indicate that the Streptococcus species involved in dental plaque and biofilm formation. S. mutans commonly found in oral cavity carries out accumulation and adherence process on the surface of the tooth surfaces utilizing the presence of sucrose. Sucrose allows S. mutans to produce a sticky, extracellular, dextran-based polysaccharide, forming plaque. The combination of plaque and acid leads to dental decay. Other species of Streptococcus such as S. mitis are involved in odontogenic infection and endocarditis. These bacteria when enter the bloodstream are major cause of Septicemia in neutropenic patients.

Millions of toothbrushes are sold throughout the world each year. However, consumers pay little attention that toothbrushes can be contaminated with use. According to American Diabetes Association (A.D.A) 1996 recommendations, the healthy individual should change the tooth brush every three months, while patients undergoing chemotherapy must change after every three days.  Those subjected to major surgery must change every day until they are completely well.

Toothbrushes must not be kept in bathrooms, especially attached baths as this lead to the sheltering of potential pathogens. Furthermore, toothbrushes should not be kept in one container, they might rub against each other and transmit the pathogens. Most importantly, toothbrushes must not be exchanged between individuals even if they are healthy.

To conclude, cleaning oral cavity with contaminated brush will do more harm than good. The problem with persistent contamination and transmission of pathogen can be avoided by use of Protector® Antibacterial Toothbrush. Protector® toothbrush is completely antimicrobial, which means that not only the bristles, but also the head and handle has built-in antimicrobial properties. The antimicrobial toothbrushes can provide maximum protection against a wide range of microorganisms for every individual.

Protector® Antibacterial Toothbrushes are tested according to ISO 20126 (general requirement for manual toothbrush) and ASTM E 2149 for antibacterial efficacy and these antibacterial toothbrushes have more than 99.99% efficacy against various microorganisms such as Bacteria, and fungi. The use of antimicrobial toothbrushes will reduce the risk of dental plaques, caries, gingivitis and periodontitis problems.

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