The jury is back. Studies have shown that solid head power toothbrushes are more hygienic than hollow head power toothbrushes, at least according to scientists at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.

The reason for this is due to the solid head power toothbrush’s inability to store large amounts of bacteria for the amount of time necessary to re-transfer it back to your mouth when you brush.

It has long been known that toothbrushes are the culprit for the spread of many different infections due to a buildup of organisms on the bristles. These microorganisms grow while the toothbrush head remains moist, so the toothbrushes that hold more moisture resulted in the growth of more bacteria.

Solid head power toothbrushes allow for less growth of these microorganisms and therefore transmit fewer of these infectious particles back to your mouth when you brush, making them a much better choice than hollow head power toothbrushes. However, to make them a truly hygienic option, disinfecting them with an ultraviolet system is the best option currently available.

The University of Texas study was conducted over a three week period and tested several randomly assigned toothbrushes. Each participant in the study followed the same brushing and flossing techniques, though were prohibited from using mouthwash. The results were overwhelmingly in favor of the solid head toothbrush.

The main issue is that most manufacturers don’t distinguish between solid head and hollow head options. This means that you will need to do some investigative work to determine which brush is the best for your needs. A solid head power toothbrush will have a solid connection between the head and the body of the brush. Hollow head toothbrushes have some space between the two parts.

Choosing a solid head toothbrush and engaging in disinfecting techniques will go a long way to preventing you from getting sick this year.