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Are you ready to be grossed out? Do you think you can handle the truth?

I did my own study... documented in this short video.

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Australian Study

A study was done to find out just what is growing on our toothbrushes to greet us each time we brush.

This study lasted for three weeks before the toothbrushes were examined under microscopes.

Have you ever used the same toothbrush for more than 3 weeks? I think most of us have.

Here is a small sample of the list of bacteria and other creepy crawlies found on the toothbrushes after just 3 weeks... from gross to grossest. (not sure if grossest is a word but well go with it)

Gross number 1 - Every single toothbrush studied had colonizing bacteria on their tooth brush ranging from 10 thousand to 1 million.  Did I mention...this was in just 3 weeks!

Gross number 2
- 90% of the toothbrushes had a bacterium named Aerococcus colonizing, this bad boy is often transferred by the air and is responsible for urinary tract infections. 

Grosser number 3
- 100% of the toothbrushes had unidentified bacteria growing on their toothbrush. If the bacteria is unidentifiable to scientists then it is possible that you have allowed some new bugs to evolve on your toothbrush or in your bathroom that have never been seen before.  By the way this is not something you should be proud of.

Grossest number 4
- This by far is the very worst most despicable awful thing I can think of, luckily it was on only 30 percent of the toothbrushes. E coli., yes E coli... the poop bacteria!

Can you believe this?... to me this takes the (grossest) cake, even the possibility 3 out of 10 in three weeks. I mean my stomach churns at the thought of brushing my teeth with a toothbrush that shares the same bacteria as my feces. YUCK, SICK, DISGUSTING... you get the point.

Summary of Toothbrush Bacterial Study

Results of bacterium found on toothbrushes after three weeks.  
The total microbial load per toothbrush was found to be 10,000 to 1,000,000 colony forming units. Staphylococci were found on all toothbrushes and streptococci on all but one.

These two genera were also quantitatively dominant. Candida, Corynebacteria, pseudomonads, and coliforms (aka E. Coli) were identified in 70, 60, 50 and 30 percent of
toothbrushes, respectively.

Full Study

Summary of Bacterial Tests comparing Traditional Toothbrush & Anti-Bacterial Silver Toothbrush.


ANTIBACTERIAL - What’s antibacterial?
The toothbrush is subject to inevitable bacterial contamination determined by its contact with the micro-organisms found in the oral cavity. The head of the toothbrush, due to its complex structure, is particularly susceptible to a more substantial contamination, which leaves it with an infective charge for the next use.

Clinical studies examined the residual microbial contamination by Streptococcus Mutans (the most important cavity-forming micro-organism) after daily use; comparing a traditional toothbrush to the Silver Care toothbrush with its silver-plated head.

The data obtained highlights the antibacterial activity of the silver ions deposited on the surface of the toothbrush head after normal domestic use (see graph).


SUMMARY: on contact with water, the pure silver that covers the head, activates a natural and continuous antibacterial process.


Graph


BACTERIOLOGICAL ANALYSIS:
Comparative tests between Silver Care® and traditional toothbrushes, show, as illustrated by the graph, the level of the reduction of Streptococcus Mutans, considered the principle cavity-forming bacteria.

*Extract of "Il Dentista Moderno' Dec '99
Testing carried out by the University of Milan

Full Study

Anecdotal silver info...

I found that silver is not only a valuable mineral but it has anti-microbial properties.  Silver is being used in the health care field more and more, especially on external infections or burns.

I have a friend whose son has MRSA, a bacterial staph infection, which often causes areas of his skin to redden, swell and cause pain.  The infections often turn into skin boils that have to be cut and drained. She told me,"that after they lance the skin they put a thin piece of silver on his leg to cover his wound. The doctor's do this to prevent any more infection and help kill the bacteria in the pus." Since MRSA is a hospital grown bacteria it's resistant to antibiotics so silver turns out to be the best anti-bacterial solution.

Another interesting bit of history came as I was explaining this toothbrush and silver technology to a group of people.  An old wise woman spoke up and explained that this technology is not new.

She asked,"Have you ever heard of the saying, 'they were born with a silver spoon in their mouth'"?

Then she proceeded to explain what this meant, "People who had enough money invested in fine silverware because they knew that it was effective in preventing the spread of germs. For those who could afford it, using silver utensils was one way that they kept clear of the plagues." 

In the News...

 

Interesting information about bacteria in your mouth...but poor advice about toothbrush cleaning.*


*Side note: The man may be an expert about the mouth but not toothbrush care, he offers three suggestions for cleaning your toothbrush:

  • Boiling for a minute
  • Microwaving
  • Dish washing

Here's a summary of my results, I tried boiling a toothbrush, the britsles fell out and the head became disfigured. I got similar results with trying to microwave a toothbrush, this may be a fire hazard also. And the third one seems ridiculous  because you would have dishwasher detergent residue in your bristles. A better option is a silver clean toothbrush.

Besides my own experimental efforts at following the three recommended cleaning efforts, another dental researcher completely and totally disagrees with him.

"We have millions and millions of bugs," says Dr. Tom Glass, a professor of forensic sciences, pathology and dental medicine at OklahomaStateUniversity in Tulsa . "A toothbrush has everything a bug needs: it has food, it has water. And most people put it in a place where it's warm and damp, like the bathroom, so the bugs just go wild."

Rinsing a toothbrush under even the hottest water from the tap won't put a dent in all the germs lodged in the bristles and head, nor will antiseptic mouthwashes or putting the brush in the dishwasher, maintains Glass.

In part, that's because the bristles that make up the brush head are made of materials that allow the bugs to snuggle in and multiply.

"The problem is that while the bristles look smooth, they are very, very porous and the organisms get lodged down in there," explains Glass, who advises replacing toothbrushes every two weeks.

"Our studies have shown that after two weeks...[most] of those bristles are sharp and jagged. And therefore when you brush you have a way of getting them into the tissue, into the body."

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