Toothbrush Disinfection May Protect Against COVID-19

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Brazilian dentists propose a protocol for toothbrush disinfection as a measure to limit SARS-CoV-2 transmission in communal spaces.
SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted, even from asymptomatic individuals, in different ways, including droplets, aerosols and, to a lesser degree, fomites.

Now, Brazilian researchers have evaluated the use of these products in a toothbrush disinfection protocol, they report in an article published online in The Journal of Infectious Diseases.

As highlighted by the authors in the text, published as a Letter to the Editor, individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 have "high viral loads in saliva, nasopharynx and oropharynx," which can occur even in asymptomatic people.

Considering that toothbrushes can act as reservoirs for microorganisms and favor the transmission of diseases such as COVID-19, the authors estimate that disinfecting the brushes would be important to control the transmission of the virus in shared spaces.

A recent study demonstrated that commercially available mouthwashes can inactivate SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. The results showed that antiseptic solutions containing ethanol and essential oils — exemplified by the brand Listerine Cool Mint, to name one — had satisfactory effects in reducing viral load.

However, there are still no specific studies evaluating the effectiveness of different mouthwash…
Sabrine Teixeira Grünewald, MD, MSc
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