Science

Disinfecting toothbrushes may help in averting Covid-19

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on January 24, 2021

Representational Image   -  THE HINDU

The study carried out by Brazilian researchers stated that disinfecting toothbrushes should be part of the hygiene habits that help in mitigating infections. This also helps in preventing Covid-19 infection.

In the research, published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, the researchers stressed that toothbrushes can "act as reservoirs for microorganisms", which can easily transmit disease from a sick to a healthy person.

The researchers further noted that this makes it pivotal to disinfect the toothbrushes and maintain oral hygiene to control the transmission of the virus. This is especially applied to asymptomatic cases or those who await the test result for Covid-19.

Earlier studies also showed that the saliva exchange can lead to the transmission of the infection.

According to a study published in July 2020 in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, some mouthwash can reduce the viral load of the COVID strains in the saliva. The researchers of this study used an antiseptic solution containing ethanol and essential oils, like Listerine Cool Mint, and showed how helpful mouthwashes can be in killing the deadly viruses.

In the new study, the Brazilian researchers also elaborated on how to disinfect the toothbrush.

They asked people to first wash hands with water and soap or disinfect them with hand sanitizer that contains at least 70 per cent alcohol. After this disinfect the toothbrush handle with 70 per cent alcohol for one minute. Brush the teeth. Again, wash the brush and disinfect the handle with 70 per cent alcohol again for a minute after the brushing is done. Immerse the head of the brush in ethanol and essential oil-based mouthwash solution and leave it for 20 minutes. Let the brush dry and then store it away from others.

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Published on January 24, 2021
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