Global Advanced Research Journal of Microbiology (GARJM) ISSN: 2315-5116
February 2021 Vol. 10(1): pp. 001-015
Copyright © 2021 Global Advanced Research Journals

 

Full Length Research Paper

 

Oral Hygiene Practices and Microbial Assessment of Used Toothbrushes by Undergraduates in a Tertiary Institution in Benin City, Nigeria

Ndukwe Maduka1*, Joy Imuetinyan Ehiaghe1,2, Emmanuel Gift Ettah1, Ngozi Nma Odu3

 

1Department of Biological Science, College of Natural and Applied Sciences, Wellspring University, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria

2Department of Medical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Basic Medical and Health Sciences, Benson Idahosa University, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria

3Department of Medical Laboratory Health Sciences, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, PAMO University of Medical Sciences, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

Email: maduks.mn@gmail.com

Accepted 21 February, 2021

 

Abstract

Poor oral hygiene practices which involve inappropriate use and storage of manual toothbrushes among others could significantly increase the prevalence of oraldiseases. In this study, personal oral hygiene practices andmicrobial contaminantspresent in used toothbrushes byundergraduates resident in the hostels were ascertained.A close-ended questionnaire was issued to twenty (20) subjects randomly selected. New toothbrushes were distributed to the participants and were instructed to maintain standard oral hygiene practice for a period of four (4) weeks. A new toothbrush served as the control. All the toothbrushes were analysed using Standard microbiological methods. Our finding shows that majority of the studentsbrushed their teeth twice daily, changed their toothbrushes monthly, store them inside lockers and fail to use plastic cap to cover their toothbrushes. The total heterotrophic bacterial count (THBC) of the toothbrush bristles and handles were within the range of 0-6.70 and 6.07-6.71log10CFU/mL, whereas the equivalent values for total fungal count (TFC) were 0-6.74and 0-6.85 log10CFU/mL, respectively. Meanwhile, THBC of the handle and bristles of the new toothbrush were 6.0 and 6.70 log10CFU/mL, while the values for TFC were 6.30 and 6.0 log10CFU/mL, respectively. Forty-six (46) bacterial isolates and thirty-three (33) fungal isolates were encountered in the toothbrush bristles and handles. The bacterial isolates identified were Streptococcus mutans, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Bacillus sp., Lactobacillus sp., Klebsiella sp., Proteus sp., Enterobacter sp. And Citrobacter sp. while the fungal isolates were Saccharomyces sp., Penicilliumchrysogenum, P. notatum, Candida albicans, Fusariumoxysporum, Blastomycesdermatitidis, Microsporiumcanis, Aspergillusniger, A. Clavatus and A. Flavus. Only Klebsiella sp. and Candida albicans were present in the new toothbrush. Since all the toothbrushes were contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms, the students are at risk of manifestingoral diseases. Consequently, the use of approved antimicrobial solutions to decontaminate toothbrushes, plastic covers for the toothbrushes, storage of the toothbrushes inside clean dry containers and implementinggood oral hygiene practices are recommended as preventive measures.

Keywords: Used toothbrushes, oral hygiene, microbial assessment, oral diseases.

 

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