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Comparative Study
, 28 (2), 121-7

Abrasion and Stain Removal by Different Manual Toothbrushes and Brush Actions: Studies in Vitro

Comparative Study

Abrasion and Stain Removal by Different Manual Toothbrushes and Brush Actions: Studies in Vitro

D Dyer et al. J Clin Periodontol.


Background and aims: A limited amount of data using flat trim multitufted toothbrushes shows that abrasion of substrate surfaces by a standard toothpaste varies dependent on filament stiffness and configuration; soft brushes producing the most abrasion. The aims of these studies in vitro were to assess toothpaste abrasion of acrylic and stain removal by 5 proprietary medium toothbrushes with different head filament arrangements, and a prototype brush with rectangular filaments. The prototype brush had a medium texture in the long axis and soft texture at right angles to the long axis.

Material and method: Optically clear acrylic was used as the substrate for abrasion by a standard toothpaste. Loss of substrate was determined by profilometry after 5000, 10000, 15000 and 20000 linear or rotary brushing actions. Stain removal was determined spectrophotometrically from optically clear acrylic specimens stained by chlorhexidine tea soaking sequences. Stained specimens were brushed with water using linear or rotary actions and measurements taken every 10 s to 60 s.

Results: Abrasion was progressive with increasing strokes and the pattern for each brush and brush action was to a first approximation linear. Overall, abrasion was significantly greater with linear compared to rotary action. Also overall brushes differed in the abrasion produced with both actions and particularly at greater exposure times. Within brush differences for the two motions were all significant by 20000 strokes except for the prototype brush. Stain removal was progressive over time with each brush but the pattern was non-linear. For the proprietary brushes the rotary motion removed less stain. For the prototype brush more stain was removed with the rotary action. Overall brushes differed significantly in stain removal within each motion and for each motion most differences between the proprietary and prototype brushes reached significance.

Conclusions: The differences between brushes for both abrasion and stain removal must in large part relate to the filament contact area with the substrate surface. Whilst the model may not be predictive of clinical differences, it could find use to establish minimum criteria for toothbrush action.

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