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J Int Soc Prev Community Dent. 2016 Jan-Feb;6(1):22-7. doi: 10.4103/2231-0762.175406.

Comparison of efficacy of herbal disinfectants with chlorhexidine mouthwash on decontamination of toothbrushes: An experimental trial.

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Department of Public Health Dentistry, Noorul Islam College of Dental Science, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India.
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Sri Sankara Dental College, Varkala, Kerala, India.
Department of Periodontics, Sri Sankara Dental College, Varkala, Kerala, India.
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Asan Memorial College and Hospital, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India.
Department of Community Medicine, Kottayam Government Medical College, Kottayam, Kerala, India.



Toothbrushes in regular use can become heavily contaminated with microorganisms, which can cause infection or reinfection. There is a need for toothbrush disinfection methods, which are rapidly effective, cost-effective, nontoxic, and that can be easily implemented.


To compare the efficacy of 3% neem, garlic of concentration 4.15 mg/mL and green tea of concentration 40 mg/mL with 0.2% chlorhexidine mouthwash as toothbrush disinfectants.


The study was a parallel in vitro comparative experimental trial conducted among 75 randomly selected boys aged between 18 years and 21 years. The subjects were divided into five groups, namely, Group I, Group II, Group III, Group IV, and Group V. They were provided with a new set of precoded toothbrushes and nonfluoridated tooth pastes. After 14 days of tooth brushing, the toothbrushes were immersed in antimicrobial solution for 12 h [Group I--distilled water (control), Group II--3% neem, Group III--garlic of concentration 4.15 mg/mL, Group IV--green tea of concentration 40 mg/mL, and Group V--0.2% chlorhexidine] and then subjected to microbial analysis to check the presence of Streptococcus mutans. The t-test and analysis of variance (ANOVA) were done using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software version 16.


All test solutions showed a statistically significant reduction of Streptococcus mutans count (P < 0.001). There was no statistical difference between the efficacies of neem, garlic, and green tea when compared with chlorhexidine mouthwash (P > 0.05).


Neem, garlic, and green tea are equally efficacious as chlorhexidine and these herbal products can be used as potent alternatives to chlorhexidine as disinfectant for toothbrushes.


Antimicrobial; antimicrobial solution; chlorhexidine; disinfection; garlic; green tea; neem; toothbrush

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