• Why You Should Ditch Your Hollow-Head Toothbrush
  • September 11, 2014 | Author: Seth A. Katz
  • Law Firm: Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C. - Englewood Office
  • Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Dentistry recently released the results of a study that revealed hollow-head toothbrushes retain more bacteria than solid-head toothbrushes.

    Participants in the study were asked to brush twice daily, allowing researchers to examine disparities among the toothbrushes. Donna Warren Morris, lead author and professor at the UTHealth School of Dentistry, said in 9 out of 10 toothbrush comparisons, the microbial count was far higher in hollow-head compared to solid-head toothbrushes. The researchers suggest hollow-head toothbrushes could contain up to 3,000 times the amount of bacterial growth when compared to solid-head toothbrushes

    "Toothbrushes can transmit microorganisms that cause disease and infections," Morris said. "A solid-head design allows for less growth of bacteria and bristles should be soft and made of nylon.

    "The packaging on most power toothbrushes won't distinguish between a hollow-head and a solid-head design," Morris said. "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."

    According to the researchers, bacterial growth on toothbrushes can lead to many adverse health effects, with certain microorganisms having been associated with systemic diseases. One bacteria commonly found on toothbrushes is Fusobacterium, which can lead to colorectal cancer, while other bacteria are linked to cardiovascular and disease.

    What's the best way to brush?
    A separate study published in the British Dental Journal showed researchers disagree on the best way to brush.

    According to the data from the study, some sources like the American Dental Association believe the best technique for brushing is to hold a toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gum and make short back and forth movements. However, other experts prefer what's known as the Fones technique, which uses larger, sweeping circles.

    There were three more techniques suggested by the experts. However, John Wainwright, lead author on the study, said there's no evidence to suggest one method is better than another.