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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 375-382

Comparison of the efficacy of homemade herbal disinfectants with chlorhexidine for decontamination of toothbrush: a randomized controlled trial


1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Babu Banarasi Das College of Dental Sciences, Lucknow 227015, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Microbiology, Babu Banarasi Das College of Dental Sciences, Lucknow 227015, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ankita Singh
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Babu Banarasi Das College of Dental Sciences, Lucknow 227015, Uttar Pradesh.
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/mgmj.mgmj_52_21

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Introduction: A toothbrush is the most common oral hygiene aid used, but maintaining and storing the toothbrush hygienically is commonly neglected. In India, people are not aware of the contamination of toothbrushes. Contaminated toothbrushes can act as a vector for the transmission or reinfection of various bacteria, viruses, and fungi. The herbs, which have pharmaceutical properties, can be used as an alternative. The study aimed to compare the antimicrobial efficacy of 3% neem and 3% garlic on Streptococcus mutans and to compare with 0.2% chlorhexidine mouthwash as toothbrush decontaminants. Materials and Methods: A triple-blinded randomized controlled trial was done on 120 subjects. The subjects were divided into four groups: Group I (distilled water), i.e., control, three study groups having 3% neem (Group II), 3% garlic extract (Group III), and 0.2% chlorhexidine gluconate (Group IV). Subjects were provided toothbrushes and toothpaste for both baseline and intervention phases. The toothbrushes were collected after 14 and 28 days for microbial analysis in both phases. The data were analyzed and compared using appropriate t-test and analysis of variance. The level of significance was set at P < 0.05. Results: Garlic (Group III) was most effective at 98%, followed by chlorhexidine (Group IV) 96% and neem (Group II) 88% in reducing the level of S. mutans. Distilled water (Group I) showed only a 3% reduction. Conclusion: Neem and garlic proved to be as effective as chlorhexidine, and these herbal products can be used as an alternative to chlorhexidine as disinfectants for toothbrushes. These are the common ingredients that can be easily found in Indian households. It is herbal, cost-effective, and has no side effects so it can be easily used by every individual as a toothbrush decontaminant.


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