Impact of powered toothbrush use and interdental cleaning on oral health

Pitchika V et al. This study aimed to investigate the long-term effectiveness of powered toothbrushes and interdental cleaning aids for oral health on a population level.

Dental professionals
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The study was conducted over 17 years and based on three independent cross-sectional surveys in the German population.

The parameters evaluated were:

  • periodontal health measured as mean probing depth
  • caries experience measured as caries-free healthy surfaces
  • number of teeth
  • having ≥20 teeth.

The study population consisted of adults defined as 35–44 years and seniors defined as 65– 74 years. Data concerning the use of a manual toothbrush or a powered toothbrush were registered, and participants using both were referred to the powered toothbrush group. Regarding interdental cleaning data, the use of dental floss, toothpicks, interdental brushes, or a combination of these devices was documented.

The use of both powered toothbrushes and interdental cleaning aids increased during the study period. This was considered an explanation for a significant part of the positive changes regarding all parameters mentioned above.

The interdental cleaning aids had a greater impact than powered toothbrushes on the number of healthy tooth surfaces and teeth, especially in the group of seniors. Interdental brushes dominated in this group and was also the interdental device showing the greatest increase in use.

The authors conclude that, on a population level, the study presents support for recommending powered toothbrushes and devices for interdental cleaning. However, they also state that the dental professional should advise the patient on interdental cleaning based upon individual needs, such as the embrasure size and the dexterity of the patient.

A summary of a scientific article

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