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Microorganisms on toothbrushes at day-care centers.

Journal article
Authors E Malmberg
Dowen Birkhed
Gunnar Norvenius
Jörgen G Norén
Gunnar Dahlén
Published in Acta odontologica Scandinavica
Volume 52
Issue 2
Pages 93-8
ISSN 0001-6357
Publication year 1994
Published at Institute of Odontology, Department of Pedodontics
Institute of Odontology, Department of Cariology
Institute of Odontology, Department of Oral Microbiology
Pages 93-8
Language en
Keywords Bacteria, isolation & purification, Bacteria, Anaerobic, isolation & purification, Candida, isolation & purification, Child, Child Day Care Centers, Child, Preschool, Colony Count, Microbial, Enterobacteriaceae, isolation & purification, Equipment Contamination, Haemophilus, isolation & purification, Humans, Staphylococcus aureus, isolation & purification, Staphylococcus epidermidis, isolation & purification, Streptococcus, isolation & purification, Streptococcus sanguis, isolation & purification, Sweden, Toothbrushing, instrumentation
Subject categories Oral microbiology, Paedodontics


The microflora on 44 toothbrushes at 4 day-care centers in the city of Göteborg have been investigated as a presumptive risk factor for transmission of microorganisms by children. Non-supervised toothbrushing without the use of toothpaste was performed at the day-care centers twice a day. Streptococci, predominantly S. salivarius, S. sanguis, and S. mitis, were the most frequently recorded group of microorganisms and generally constituted the greatest part of the flora (on average, 50%). Beta-hemolytic streptococci were not found in any sample. Haemophilus species were noted in 82% of the samples. H. parainfluenzae being the most frequent, and H. influenzae being identified in only one sample. Anaerobes constituted on average a third of the microflora. Staphylococci were identified in 86% of the samples, S. epidermidis dominating. Fungi including molds were found in 50% of the samples, and from one day-care center large numbers of enteric organisms were identified. Thus this study shows that unsupervised toothbrushing at day-care centers can be questioned, more from a general hygienic point of view than from the risk of transmitting serious pathogens.

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