Toothbrush wear in relation to toothbrushing effectiveness.

The aim of the current study was to evaluate the impact of toothbrush wear in relation to plaque removal. The results are based on a study population consisting of 172 individuals who all used the same type of toothbrush and toothpaste. They were instructed to brush using the Bass method technique. At three occasions with a three-month interval, plaque scores were recorded. The participants also handed in their toothbrushes and received new ones.

Dental professionals
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The relationship between toothbrush wear and plaque-removal effectiveness showed a superior effect of brushes with no or light wear, compared with those presenting extreme wear. The toothbrushes seem to have a decreased plaque removal capacity when the outer tufts are splayed beyond the base of the toothbrush. When looking at the participants’ consistency to cause wear of the toothbrush, the results showed a strong intraindividual tendency, emphasising that toothbrush wear is similar for each individual while it varies between them.

The often-recommended 3-month interval for replacing toothbrushes might not be the optimal interval for everyone; rather, evaluating the splay of filaments would be a more accurate indication of when it is time to replace a toothbrush. The authors emphasise the importance of this knowledge among the dental profession in order to give the correct toothbrush recommendations.

A summary of a scientific article

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