The effect of two power toothbrushes on calculus and stain formation

Am J Dent. 2002 Apr;15(2):71-6.


Purpose: To compare the safety and efficacy with respect to the control of calculus and stain of two power toothbrushes.

Materials and methods: This was a cross-over study involving a total of 81 subjects from a general population who used, in a randomized sequence, the Braun Oral-B 3D Excel (D17) and the Sonicare toothbrush with a conventional dentifrice, and a manual brush with a tartar control dentifrice. The manual toothbrush with tartar control dentifrice served as a positive control with respect to control of calculus. Following 9 weeks of manual brush use with a conventional, non-abrasive dentifrice, each test brush was used for a period of 9 weeks, after which subjects switched to the next brush in the sequence. Calculus was scored using the Volpe-Manhold Calculus Index and stain using the Lobene Stain Index.

Results: All three brushes were found to be safe as used in the study. All three toothbrushes significantly reduced the levels of calculus as compared to the control period. Reduction from baseline in the rate of calculus formation was greatest in the D17 group (63%), followed by the manual brush with tartar control dentifrice (60%) and Sonicare (44%). Both the D17 and the manual brush were significantly more effective than Sonicare (P< 0.001). The D17 was also more effective at controlling stain formation than either Sonicare or the manual brush with tartar control dentifrice at the gingival margin, the difference from Sonicare being statistically significant for all analyses (P< 0.0001). It is concluded that the D17 is significantly more effective in reducing both the rate of calculus and stain formation than the Sonicare toothbrush.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dental Calculus / classification
  • Dental Calculus / prevention & control*
  • Dentifrices / therapeutic use
  • Electricity
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Safety
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Tooth Discoloration / classification
  • Tooth Discoloration / prevention & control*
  • Toothbrushing / instrumentation*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonics


  • Dentifrices