This study investigated various methods for disinfection of toothbrushes that maybe highly contaminated by viruses and bacteria. The products tested were chlorhexidine, Listerine antiseptic, plastic caps, antimicrobial containing spray solutions, 3% hydrogen peroxide and the Violight ultraviolet toothbrush sanitizer.
Researchers soaked 20 Oral-B manual toothbrush heads in saliva for 48 hours and a colony of bacteria and biofilm were allowed to grow for 24 hours. Brushes were rinsed with tap water and then exposed to the ultraviolet toothbrush sanitizer or one of the selected antiseptics for seven minutes. Five brushes were simply rinsed with water for 20 seconds to serve as controls. Samples were incubated aerobically as well as anaerobically and the results showed:
· 3% hydrogen peroxide was the most effective sanitizing agent.
· Listerine was the second most effective.
· Violight was the least effective, with results close to the control levels.
Patients should be encouraged to disinfect toothbrushes as well as change brushes frequently. The method should be easy to perform and available at home.