The Power of a Toothbrush

Author : Dental Product Shopper
Published Date 05/06/2009
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Have you ever been in a conversation and when you mention you?re a dental provider you?re asked the infamous question, ?What toothbrush should I use?? This age-old question is worthy of revisiting as manufacturers develop new and possibly more effective toothbrushes. When I?m asked, I respond based on what the current evidence demonstrates as the best way to remove plaque biofilm.

And the Evidence Says?

Since the introduction of power toothbrushes in the 1960s, researchers have made significant improvements. Two clinical benefits are noted in the literature: (1) more effective at plaque removal, presumably because of patient technique and (2) patients are more compliant with brushing protocols.

A practice-based study of a power toothbrush with over 16,000 patients demonstrated a positive effect on the oral health of 80.5% of the patients, and 88.9% of the patients reported continued use of a power toothbrush. 1 In 2007, results were published of an in vitro evaluation of interproximal biofilm removal with Philips Sonicare FlexCare and Oral-B Triumph.2 The researchers found the fluid forces generated by the rapid motion of the Sonicare brush head were able to remove 3.2 times more plaque biofilm in interproximal regions beyond the bristles. Another in vitro study showed that sonic brushing generated the greatest concentration of fluoride in interproximal plaque.3

Benefits Beyond the Toothbrush

The Sonicare FlexCare is an effective power toothbrush, removing more plaque than other premium power toothbrushes. The standard and compact brush head, constructed of rounded bristles, along with patented sonic technology helps patients achieve superior oral health. This power brush has many features:

? Brush head?broad sweeping motion and outside row of bristles are angled slightly outward to improve bristle-to-tooth contact.

? Three modes?clean (full power), sensitive (50% reduced power), and massage.

? Two brushing routine options? MaxCare (3 minutes of four 45-second cycles) and GoCare (1-minute cleaning between brushings).

? UV Sanitizer?safeguards against up to 99% of bacteria and viruses found on brush heads.

? Travel charger with universal input voltage.

? Lighter and smaller than most power toothbrushes.

The etiology of gingivitis, periodontitis, and caries involves dental plaque biofilms, making knowledge of biofilm composition (quantity and quality) and effective management necessary for oral health. Power toothbrushes, specifically the Sonicare FlexCare, have changed the way I present to my students, to attendees at my continuing education courses, and to my patients.


1. Warrant PR, Ray TS, Cuqini M, et al. A practice-based study of a power toothbrush: assessment of effectiveness and acceptance. J Am Dent Assoc. 2000;131:389-394.
2. Aspiras M, Elliott N, Nelson R, et al. In vitro evaluation of interproximal biofilm removal with power toothbrushes. Compend Cont Educ Dent. 2007;28(suppl 1):10-14.
3. Stoodley P, Nguyen D, Longwell M, et al. Effect of the Sonicare Flexcare power toothbrush on fluoride delivery through Streptococcus mutans biofilm. Compend Cont Educ Dent. 2007;28(suppl 1):15-22.

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