Bacteria from the mouth remain on the brush after use. These bacteria are not eliminated when the brush is rinsed. Most bacteria are destroyed when oxygen in the air reaches them. The Latsa toothbrush holders and covers allow for the appropriate method to store toothbrushes.
Water combines with germs and gravitates to the lowest point on the brush when it is placed in the toothbrush holder. If the bristles are pointed down, the water and germs will end up on the bristles.
Brushes on a normal day take about 12 hours to completely dry because of the density and softness of the bristles. The Latsa holder and cover facilitate the proper drying since air is able to circulate easily.
No, because bacteria from the mouth remain on the brush after use. These bacteria are not eliminated when the brush is rinsed. In fact, the bacteria incubate and multiply in the dark, damp and warm environment that the cap provides. Some childcare centers have been attracted to these colorful caps thinking that they protect the brushes. Please be aware that the use of these caps on the toothbrushes, will not allow the toothbrushes to dry regardless of how many holes are in the cap. There is just not enough air circulation inside the cap to adequately dry the bristles and prevent bacteria from multiplying.
It is best to be safe. Dispose of the toothbrush and replace it.
Yes. The illness might have been in the incubation stage when the child last used it.
Rinse the toothbrush, remove all the toothpaste and place in a toothbrush holder where it can air-dry thoroughly.
I have heard that toothbrushes should be disinfected with chlorine bleach or running them through the dishwasher. Is that a good method to keep from having to replace toothbrushes so often?
No, putting the toothbrush in hot water in the dishwasher or under the faucet, will reduce the life of the brush. Bleaching the toothbrush leaves a chlorine residue on the bristles which affects the taste the next time the brush is used.
No, the possibility of touching or taking the wrong toothbrush is too great. The toothbrush should be removed and replaced by an adult.
Yes, adequate space should be maintained between toothbrushes in order to reduce the possibility of cross-contamination.
If my classroom has a problem with creepy crawlers (insects), what should I do to prevent them from crawling on the toothbrushes after hours?
Place the toothbrush holders in the screen bag cover that has been designed specifically for that purpose. The Latsa covers allow the necessary air-drying and prevent contamination by the insects.
Information on Requirements and Standards:
- Individual States Licensing Requirements for ChildCare
This is the web site which explains licensing requirements for all states.
- US Public Health Service is an elite team of more than 6,000 well-trained, highly qualified public health professionals dedicated to protecting, promoting, and advancing the health and safety of the nation. Driven by a passion for public service, these men and women serve on the leading edge of the nation’s fight against disease and poor health conditions.
- Head Start Performance Standards
This is the web site for health and dental health performance standards.
- The National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center responds to the needs of states and communities in addressing current and emerging public oral health issues. The resource center performs a variety of services, including providing tailored responses to information requests, and developing and disseminating publications such as fact sheets and resource.
- National Head Start Oral Health Resource Center the latest oral health alerts
Information on Caring for Toothbrushes in the Classroom:
- Questions about Toothbrushes in the Classroom?
This is an informational page that will explain the do’s and don’ts for toothbrush storage in the classroom.
- Center for Disease Control Recommendations
The CDC has recommendations for toothbrush storage in the classroom. “Use and Handling of Toothbrushes in Schools.”
- Recommendations for Oral Health from the University of Iowa Protocal for preschool and child care settings serving children 3-5 years old
Links to other health information sites:
- Pinatta’s View Pinatta and her puppet band use music, unusual glasses called “boggle goggles” and a child’s perspective, “40” from the floor”, to practice and then take a trip to a real dentist.
- Healthy Child Care Publication Internet site and publication with health and safety information for young children at home or in childcare.