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Instructions on toothbrushing – does it make a difference?

No difference between manual and different power toothbrushes with and without specific instructions in young, oral healthy adults - results of a randomized clinical trial.

This study was conducted in a group consisting of young and oral healthy adults. The aim was to investigate what impact a single instruction within a group using oscillating-rotating electrical toothbrushes, sonic active toothbrushes or manual toothbrushes has on the outcome, measured in terms of plaque removal and reduction of gingival inflammation.

Half of the participants in each toothbrush group received one single instruction on how to use the device, while the other half did not get any instruction. Those who were given instructions in the groups using electrical toothbrushes were instructed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, while those who were given instructions in the manual toothbrush group were instructed to use the Fones’ technique. All participants were told to brush twice a day for 2-3 minutes and not to use any other oral hygiene devices. They all used the same type of toothpaste.

After the 12 week test period, the results showed that neither the type of toothbrush, nor the single brush-specific instruction had any impact on plaque removal or reduction of gingival inflammation.

Instruction on one single occasion may be close to reality in daily practice regarding young, oral healthy adults, but according to the results in the present study, it does not contribute to the effectiveness of toothbrushing, independent of the type of toothbrush.

A summary of a scientific article

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