Evaluation of toothbrush bristles' deterioration used by preschool children
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The toothbrush is an effective instrument for oral diseases prevention. The flexibility and status of bristles, as well as the size of the handle are fundamental for an effective toothbrushing. Thus, the assessment of physical characteristics of toothbrushes is important. This study evaluated the deterioration and wear of bristles of toothbrushes used by preschool children. For the sample selection, five elementary schools were assorted from a city of the São Paulo State northwest region, one from each city area. All toothbrushes used by preschool children who aged between 5 and 6 years old and who attended the assorted schools were visually analysed by two calibrated examiners, according to the criteria proposed by Rawls HR, Mkwayi-Tulloch NJ, Casella R, Cosgrove R (J Dent Res 1989; 12: 1781): 0 - it is impossible to state if the toothbrush was used or not; 1 - the bristles seem to be separated within some tufts; 2 - most tufts are separated, many cover other tufts and present a large number of curved and inclined bristles; 3 - most tufts are covered by others and bristles are folded and tipped. In total, 333 toothbrushes were evaluated. The data obtained revealed that 57.96% of the toothbrushes presented adequate condition for utilization (scores 0 and 1), whereas 42.04% presented inadequate bristles for their function (scores 2 and 3). It was concluded that a great number of toothbrushes presented deterioration of the bristles. Thus, there is the need to guide and promote awareness among teachers, parents and children as well as the need to replace toothbrushes.
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