Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 18, Issue 8, pp 1969–1974 | Cite as

Children's toothbrush contamination in day-care centers: how to solve this problem?

  • Paulo Nelson-FilhoEmail author
  • Maristela Soares Swerts Pereira
  • Andiara De Rossi
  • Raquel Assed Bezerra da Silva
  • Késsia Suênia Fidelis de Mesquita
  • Alexandra Mussolino de Queiroz
  • Léa Assed Bezerra da Silva
Original Article



To evaluate the contamination level of toothbrushes by mutans streptococci (MS) and the efficacy of antimicrobial solutions: cetylpyridinium chloride 0.05 % (CPC; Cepacol™) and chlorhexidine 0.12 % (CHX; Periogard™), to disinfect toothbrushes of preschool-aged children in day-care centers.

Material and methods

Fifty-two children were randomly divided into three groups, and a three-stage changeover system was used with a 1-week interval between each stage. Solutions were used by a different group of children in each stage. Children were submitted to a 1 minute brushing without dentifrice, performed by a professional calibrated, followed by random spraying over the bristles of brushes. Process and microbiological analysis were realized, and four brushes of each group were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM).


Friedman's test at 5 % significance level revealed difference between the antimicrobial solutions (p < 0.01). MS were detected in 100 % cases of toothbrushes sprayed with sterile tap water (control) and in 66.7 % after spraying with CPC, but it was not detected formation of colonies/biofilms after spraying with CHX. The data were confirmed by SEM.


The toothbrushes were contaminated with MS after a single brushing.

Clinical relevance

Although CPC has shown good results in comparison with the control, CHX showed greater efficacy in disinfection bristles of toothbrushes.


Toothbrushes Disinfection Day-care centers Streptococcus mutans 



The authors are indebted to Dr. Izabel Yoko Ito (in memoriam) of Department of Clinical Analyses, Toxicology and Bromatology, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ribeirão Preto and Dr. Marcos Antonio Rossi (in memoriam) of Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo for helpful assistance during microbiological processing and analysis.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paulo Nelson-Filho
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maristela Soares Swerts Pereira
    • 2
  • Andiara De Rossi
    • 1
  • Raquel Assed Bezerra da Silva
    • 1
  • Késsia Suênia Fidelis de Mesquita
    • 1
  • Alexandra Mussolino de Queiroz
    • 1
  • Léa Assed Bezerra da Silva
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pediatric DentistrySchool of Dentistry of Ribeirão Preto, University of São PauloRibeirão PretoBrazil
  2. 2.Department of PediatricSchool of Dentistry, University José do Rosário VellanoAlfenasBrazil

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