Oral Hygiene Habits and Possible Transmission of COVID-19 Among Cohabitants

Maria Jose Gonzalez-Olmo; Bendicion Delgado-Ramos; Ana Ruiz-Guillen; Martin Romero-Maroto; Maria Carrillo-Diaz


BMC Oral Health. 2020;20(286) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: To find out whether misuse of dental hygiene, in terms of certain dental habits, may facilitate the spread of COVID-19 among cohabiting individuals.

Methods: 302 COVID-19 infected (PCR +) subjects cohabiting with someone else at home were selected for an observational cross-sectional study. An anonymous online questionnaire was developed using Google forms to avoid person-to-person contact. The structured questionnaire consisted of questions covering several areas: sociodemographic data, cross transmission to another person living together, oral hygiene habits during confinement, care and disinfection control behaviours in the dental environment like sharing toothbrush, sharing toothbrush container, sharing toothpaste, placing brush vertically, placing cap with hole for brush, disinfecting brush with bleach, closing toilet lid before flushing.

Results: Tongue brushing was more used in the group where there was no transmission of the disease to other members (p < 0.05). Significant differences were found for shared toothbrush use (p < 0.05), although shared use was a minority in this group (4. 7%), significant differences were also found for the use of the same container (p < 0.01), shared use of toothpaste (p < 0.01), toothbrush disinfection with bleach (p < 0.01), brush change after PCR + (p < 0.05). The women performed significantly more disinfection with toothbrush bleach (p < 0.01), closing the toilet lid (p < 0.05) and changing the brush after PCR + (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: The use of inappropriate measures in the dental environment could contribute to the indirect transmission of COVID-19 between cohabitants.