Relative plaque removal of three toothbrushes in a nine-period crossover study

J Periodontol. 2005 Dec;76(12):2230-5. doi: 10.1902/jop.2005.76.12.2230.


Background: This study measured the ability of three toothbrushes to remove plaque following three single brushing episodes with each toothbrush.

Methods: This was a randomized, controlled, examiner-blind, nine-period crossover study conducted in 72 adult subjects over a 3-month period that examined plaque removal with a rechargeable power toothbrush and two manual toothbrushes. During the course of this study, subjects brushed three times with each of the toothbrushes. Plaque was scored before and after brushing using the Rustogi Modification of the Navy Plaque Index.

Results: Average baseline plaque scores were between 0.373 and 0.376 for the three treatment groups. The power toothbrush delivered an adjusted (via analysis of covariance) mean difference between baseline and post-brushing plaque scores of 0.270, whereas the manual toothbrushes delivered adjusted mean differences of 0.211 (control ADA manual toothbrush) and 0.190 (experimental manual toothbrush). The power toothbrush demonstrated a statistically significantly greater reduction in plaque than the ADA reference manual toothbrush (P < 0.001), which in turn had a statistically significantly greater reduction in plaque than the experimental manual toothbrush (P < 0.001). The powered toothbrush group had, on average, 42.4% and 28.2% greater plaque removal scores than the experimental manual toothbrush and ADA reference manual toothbrush groups, respectively. Results for the interproximal and gingival regions also demonstrated statistically significantly (P < 0.001) greater plaque removal for the powered toothbrush relative to the control manual toothbrushes.

Conclusion: The powered toothbrush was found to deliver greater plaque removal by 42.4% and 28.2% compared to the control manual toothbrushes.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Coloring Agents
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dental Plaque / pathology
  • Dental Plaque / therapy*
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Electricity
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Gingiva / pathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Tooth / pathology
  • Toothbrushing / instrumentation*


  • Coloring Agents