Toothbrushes are effectively used for cleaning teeth and protecting us from multiple teeth and gum diseases. There has been a lot of debate regarding the type of toothbrush to be used and measures that should be taken, to keep the brush clean and avoid transmission of oral infections. If proper care is not taken and hygiene is not maintained, a toothbrush can lead to multiple bacterial infections. Toothbrushes can transfer microorganisms into our mouth resulting in infections, or other oral and throat diseases.
On a more serious note, some studies suggest that a number of microorganisms have been found to be connected with systemic diseases. These microorganisms can cause severe diseases. For instance, Fusobacterium is said to be associated with colorectal cancer. Similarly, a relationship between bacteria and cardiovascular ailments has been developed. Medical specialists have established that there exists a link between heart disease and gum disease. Due to these serious concerns associated with the use of toothbrushes, various studies are conducted from time to time, and suggestions are made, to make the use of toothbrushes safer and healthier.
The presence of bacteria or other microorganisms on a toothbrush can neither be denied nor 100 percent prevented. Their occurrence can be reduced by adopting precautionary measures like sterilizing the brush, soaking it in mouthwash, drying it between uses, and replacing the toothbrush with a new one every three months, etc. A recent study reveals that solid-head power toothbrushes are more hygienic as compared to hollow-head toothbrushes. This study was carried out by Donna Warren Morris, BS, MEd, RDH, professor at the UTHealth School of Dentistry, at the University of Texas. In this study, both solid-head power toothbrushes and hollow-head toothbrushes were exposed to different kinds of oral microbes, namely: anaerobes and facultative germs; oral streptococci and oral enterococci anaerobes; yeast and mold; porphyromonas gingivalis, and Fusobacterium types. According to Morris, the solid-head power toothbrushes showed a lesser amount of microbes in contrast to hollow-head toothbrushes. The solid design was found to curtail the bacterial growth, thus making it more health friendly. It is recommended that a solid-head, power toothbrush be used, along with other hygiene practices, to lessen the chances of oral and throat infections, and lead a healthier lifestyle.
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