Undergraduate Research Journal


The oral cavity is home to a wide variety of microorganisms1. More than 700 bacterial species have been detected within the oral cavity. Thus, it is not surprising that some of these microorganisms are transferred to a toothbrush during use. Furthermore, studies have shown that various microorganisms can grow on toothbrushes after use. More microorganism development occurs on toothbrushes stored in a moist environment such as a closed container. Since toothbrushes can become a potential portal of entry for organisms, the purpose of this study was to see how effective the CleanWave® UV-C Portable Toothbrush Sanitizer was in re-moving the microbe Streptococcus mitis from toothbrushes. Earlier studies have indicated that the sanitizer may not work if toothbrushes were not allowed to dry before use. In this study, six toothbrushes were left to air dry, while another six were stored wet directly after contamination. Twenty four toothbrushes were also used for the levels of air drying and they followed the same procedure. After treatment, 100-μL were directly deposited on selective Mitis Salivarius Agar plates. A paired t-test for dry versus wet and an analysis of variance (ANOVA) test for the levels of air drying was performed at the 95% confidence interval. This study demonstrated that when the toothbrush was stored wet, the CleanWave® UV-C Portable Toothbrush Sanitizer’s effects were hindered by water, and for it to work effectively in removing S. mitis the toothbrush had to be completely dry. What is more, when the toothbrush was air dried, it too showed to have the same effect without the UV-C sanitizer, indicating that air drying alone is effective in removing S. mitis.

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