How well does a worn toothbrush clean the teeth?

Plaque-removing efficacy of new and used manual toothbrushes – a professional brushing study.

Dental professionals
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The aim of this study was to compare the plaque-removing efficacy between new manual toothbrushes and 3-month-old used toothbrushes. The impact of dentifrice on plaque removal was also evaluated.

The study population consisted of 50 individuals. All participants received a new toothbrush to use during a 3 month pretrial period. 48 hours prior to the end of the pretrial period no brushing was performed. The investigation was designed according to a single-use, examiner blinded, professional brushing model. To rule out the effect of the brushing technique, the brushing was performed by one dental hygienist. In every participant four ways of brushing were performed, one in each quadrant: brushing with a new toothbrush and no dentifrice, a new toothbrush and dentifrice, an old toothbrush and no dentifrice, an old toothbrush and dentifrice. At the trial appointment pre- and post-brushing, plaque was assessed as well as gingival abrasions.

The results from this study did not show any clinically relevant differences in plaque removal efficacy comparing new and 3-month-old used toothbrushes. The instant removal of plaque was not affected by the use of dentifrice. However, the wear rate seemed to influence the efficacy of the toothbrush. The authors emphasise the need to change toothbrush when it shows signs of wear. The 3-month-old used toothbrushes showed a wide variety in wear. Regarding gingival abrasion no statistically significant difference was found.

A summary of a scientific article

This summary of a scientific study by Rosema, NA et al. is presented by Anna Nilvéus Olofsson, DDS, Manager Odontology and Scientific Affairs. Click here for more information.