Appraisal of the methods of storage and hygienicity of toothbrushes used by children in institutionalized settings

Aasim Farooq Shah., Manu Batra., Irfan Ashraf Baba and Suhail Majid Jan

Introduction: Tooth brushing plays an important role in for personal oral hygiene and effective plaque removal. Appropriate toothbrush care and maintenance are also important considerations for sound oral hygiene. Keeping in view the risk of transmission of microorganisms due to improper storage and its possible repercussions this research was carried out to assess the methods of storage and conditions of toothbrushes after use by children living under institutionalized conditions in Jammu and Kashmir State of India.

Material and Methods: The present study was done in five (5) orphanages in vicinity of Srinagar city of Jammu and Kashmir State of India. Tooth brushes of 683 children ranging from of 3 to 16 years of age were assessed. The storage method of the tooth brushes, moisture in them and residues left on the toothbrushes or toothbrush bristles was recorded.

Statistical analysis used: Frequencies and percentages were taken out for categorical variables. Associations between different variables were assessed through application of χ2 test. The data was analyzed using SPSS Statistics 20.0

Results: Highest number of toothbrushes was stored in bathrooms which comprised of 344 belonging to males and 154 to females. 417 children of either gender stored their toothbrushes in open containers in bathrooms. 89 children were storing their toothbrushes outside the bathroom area. Total of 341 tooth brushes were having moisture. 279 toothbrushes including 184 from boys and 95 from girls had some residue in them.

Conclusion: Present study concluded that the toothbrushes of institutionalized orphan children which were examined for storage practices were not placed either in a hygienic and recommended manner or there were remnants of either toothpaste or food particles present in them.

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