Reduction in bacterial contamination of toothbrushes using the Violight ultraviolet light activated toothbrush sanitizer
PURPOSE: This two armed, self-controlled, investigator blinded, clinical study tested the efficacy of an ultraviolet (UV) light toothbrush holder (Violight) to decrease toothbrush bacterial contamination. METHODS: 25 subjects were randomly assigned to control or experimental groups and received two toothbrushes for home use on either even or odd days. The control group rinsed both toothbrushes after use in cold tap water with no mechanical manipulation. The experimental group rinsed one toothbrush in cold running water while storing the other toothbrush in the Violight toothbrush holder after use. The toothbrushes were returned after 2 weeks use in sealed plastic bags and were analyzed for the number of colony forming units (CFU) of S. mutans, S. salivarius, lactobacilli, E. coli, and other coliforms, and total bacterial counts by culture. An additional analysis of the total bacterial profile was performed using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). RESULTS: The Violight toothbrush holder reduced total CFU by an average of 86% (ANCOVA, P = 0.037). In addition, a tendency was noted for a reduction in total bacterial population as detected by DGGE.