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Want fewer bacteria when you brush your teeth?

Gum disease
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(NaturalNews) Well yeah, who doesn't! Next time you pick up a new powered toothbrush make sure it has a solid head. This is because new research out of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston indicates that solid headed toothbrushes retain less bacteria than hollow headed ones when it comes to powered toothbrushes.

While this seems like a simple matter it could add up to substantial health effects considering that our toothbrushes have the potential to cause infections and disease by transmitting microorganisms. Not only is the solidity of the toothbrush head important in preventing the accumulation of bacteria but you must also make sure to let your toothbrush dry between uses and even disinfect it.

The Study

The results of this recent study were published in the Journal of Dental Hygiene. The research was performed over 3 weeks. During this time the study participants brushed twice a day with anti-microbial toothpaste and kept up their normal flossing regime (no mouthwash). The participants were randomly selected to use 1 of the 3 types of powered toothbrushes available (one solid, two hollow).

When it comes to power toothbrushes the lead author Donna Warren Morris said, "The packaging on most power toothbrushes won't 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." It is these hollow headed designs that were found to harbor significantly more bacteria. In fact, 90% of the time, solid headed toothbrushes had lower microorganism counts than hollow headed toothbrushes.

Some of the microbes found on the toothbrush heads over the course of the study include the Fusobacterium species which as Morris said, "We do know and there are studies that have linked Fusobacterium to colorectal cancer. Some of these other bacteria have been linked with cardiovascular disease."

Good Oral Hygiene Practices

Along with disinfecting your toothbrush (boil the head in water or submerge in mouth wash for an extended period of time) and letting it dry between uses you should also floss daily. Likewise, it is a good idea to avoid tons of refined sugars which can lead to cavities. One thing that you may not think about is keeping the head covered (while still letting it dry) in order to reduce the amount of tiny water droplets and aerosols that may be sprayed from your toilet (appetizing).


While there aren't published accounts of these bacteria directly from toothbrush heads leading to major health defects there is a strong association, Morris said, "There is a high association with gum disease and cardiovascular disease. Researchers have been able to culture the same bacteria around the heart that causes gum disease."

Sources for this article include:




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