After reading this news, go check your toothbrush type. According to research, solid-head toothbrushes retain less bacteria compared to hollow-head toothbrushes. During the study, researchers found up to 3,000 times the bacterial growth on hollow-head toothbrushes.
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"Toothbrushes can transmit microorganisms that cause disease and infections. A solid-head design allows for less growth of bacteria and bristles should be soft and made of nylon," explained Donna Warren Morris, a professor at University of Texas' school of dentistry.
It is also important to disinfect and to let your toothbrush dry between uses.
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"Some power toothbrushes now include an ultraviolet system or you can soak the head in mouthwash for 20 minutes," Morris advised.
The packaging on most power toothbrushes will not distinguish between a hollow-head and a solid-head design.
"The best way to identify a solid-head design is through the connection to the body of the power toothbrush. Naturally, there will be some space to connect the two parts but a significant portion will be solid, up to the bristles or brush head," Morris informed.
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The study was conducted over a three-week period where participants brushed twice daily with one out of three randomly assigned power toothbrushes. Participants used non-antimicrobial toothpaste and continued their flossing routine throughout the study, but refrained from using other dental products like mouthwash.
The brush heads were exposed to five categories of oral microorganisms. The results were published in the Journal of Dental Hygiene.