Toothbrush filaments end-rounding: stereomicroscope analysis

J Clin Periodontol. 2001 Apr;28(4):360-4. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-051x.2001.028004360.x.


Background, aims: Toothbrush filaments with rounded ends allow for efficient removal of bacterial plaque and are less harmful to periodontal tissues than non-rounded bristles. The aim of this research was to evaluate the % of rounded filaments considered to be of acceptable quality in different toothbrush brands and to determine whether there is a standardization of quality, as manufacturers claim.

Method: Brushes tested included 2 samples of medium-hard nylon or tynex toothbrushes from 31 various types found on the retail market in Italy. Tufts from the same position on the toothbrush head were removed and examined under a stereomicroscope, utilizing methods which did not alter the physical properties of the filaments. In 4 of the 31 toothbrush brands tested, more than 50% of the filaments appeared rounded, in 19 of them, between 11.9% and 40.5% and in 8 brands between 0% and 7%.

Results: Differences were found in the number and disposition of filaments among different brands and even within the same toothbrush brand.

Conclusion: The results appear to indicate that a large % of toothbrushes on the retail market do not meet acceptable quality criteria.

MeSH terms

  • Dental Plaque / therapy
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Microscopy
  • Nylons
  • Quality Control
  • Surface Properties
  • Toothbrushing / instrumentation*
  • Toothbrushing / standards


  • Nylons