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Study reveals that over 60 % of toothbrushes are contaminated in the bathroom


Study reveals that over 60 % of toothbrushes are contaminated in the bathroom

The bathroom is one of the home environments that generate more discussion among residents. Wet towels and thrown on the floor, the toilet seat up and splash around, open toothpaste, lack of replenishment of toilet paper. Study recently presented at the American Society for Microbiology annual meeting, in New Orleans (United States), revealed that over 60% of toothbrushes analyzed in student homes tested positive for contamination by fecal material.

Worse, there is 80 % chance that this contamination occurred while others used the bathroom. "The most serious problem is when the fecal material found in the brush does not belong to the user, as it contains bacteria, viruses and parasites that are not part of their normal flora," says the researcher Lauren Aber. The study also showed that no matter what method the users clean their brush after use. Neither hot water nor mouth rinse products are sufficient against this subsequent contamination.

For those who think this happens only because people have a habit of leaving exposed brushes, the researcher corrects: "To use tooth brush holders does not prevent the growth of bacteria. Instead, just providing a favorable environment yet, for them, to develop, as they will have heat and humidity. Ideally, wash the brush after use and let it dry without lids”, says Lauren.

According to Artur Cerri, School of Professional Improvement of APCD director (Paulista Association of Dental Surgeons), many people do not even notice when the brush has toothpaste or leftover food from the bristles, but it is essential to ensure that this does not happen. "It is necessary to pay attention to bleeding which occurs during brushing, because it is common to get deposited on the brush, being a source of proliferation. Furthermore, it is also important to avoid family brushes come into contact with each other, since they can have a cross contamination. Such hesitation is especially harmful in cases of flu, oral infections or even sore throat."

Cerri draws attention also that the open container - it can be a cup or pot discovered - should be positioned at least one meter from the toilet to avoid the ' aerosol effect' every discharge. It should also stay away enough from the sink to prevent splashing while other family members wash their hands. "Finally, it is important to realize when it's time to replace the toothbrush. Usually this happens after three months of use, but may occur earlier, especially if the bristles are worn, open or misaligned, or if the person just heals from an infection or flu. In this case the exchange must occur before".

Source: Odontomagazine, with information from APCD and Science Daily
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