Emeritus professor of dentistry, Martin Addy has urged people to brush their teeth before leaving the house in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Addy who teaches at the University of Bristol, said toothpaste can reduce the chances of catching or spreading the disease through the mouth.
However, he warned that the antimicrobial effect of toothpaste only lasts from three to five hours.
He therefore suggested Brits brush their teeth before going outside to ensure the effect is active should they come into contact with other people
In a letter published by Times, Mr Addy, wrote: “Scientists, in support of mouth and nasal coverings, have emphasised the role of saliva droplets in the spread of Covid-19.
“It is perhaps surprising, therefore, that toothbrushing with toothpaste has not been emphasised as an effective procedure.
“Toothpaste contains the same detergents as those found in hand wash gels recommended against coronavirus.
“Indeed, the antimicrobial action of toothpaste in the mouth persists for three to five hours and, thereby, would reduce the viral load in saliva or infection by viruses entering the mouth.”
Mr Addy said people wanting to maximise the preventative effects could brush their teeth just before leaving the house.
He added: “As a large proportion of our population is in lockdown, one of the brushings could be immediately before leaving home for exercise, shopping etc.
“For those workers in the NHS, brushing should be before putting on protective equipment.”