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Whisky, microwave or hairdryer? Exploring the most efficient way to reduce bacterial colonisation on contaminated toothbrushes

Key Points

  • Toothbrush bristles are crammed with oral and environmental pathogens. Even when left untouched for 24 hours, toothbrushes remain highly contaminated.

  • Hairdryer heat or immersion in whisky cannot disinfect toothbrush bristles satisfactorily within a minute.

  • Microwave oven cooking seems to be an effective technique to overcome bacterial contamination of toothbrushes.

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Figure 1: Images of the whisky bottle before (left) and after (right) the study, demonstrating the highly significant reduction of its content.
Figure 2


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The authors are indebted to Mrs G. Maxwell for spoof-reading the manuscript.

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Correspondence to R. Patcas.

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Patcas, R., Zbinden, R., Schätzle, M. et al. Whisky, microwave or hairdryer? Exploring the most efficient way to reduce bacterial colonisation on contaminated toothbrushes. Br Dent J 225, 1007–1010 (2018).

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