Comparison of modified Bass technique with normal toothbrushing practices for efficacy in supragingival plaque removal

Int J Dent Hyg. 2003 May;1(2):110-4. doi: 10.1034/j.1601-5037.2003.00018.x.


Objectives: This study was designed to compare the efficacy in supragingival plaque removal of normal toothbrushing practices and a particular toothbrushing technique, the modified Bass method.

Subjects and methods: The research consisted of two identical experiments with two toothbrushing methods: the normal toothbrushing practices and the modified Bass technique. Forty-six secondary, non-dental students (10 males and 36 females) with ages ranging from 18 to 30 years were selected. Dental plaque was assessed according to the Turesky modification of Quigley-Hein Index. Subjects were requested not to brush their teeth 48 h prior to the baseline record of plaque index. Participants were instructed to brush twice daily during 3 min for the duration of the 3-week trial using their usual toothpaste. Plaque index was recorded at 2, 7 and 21 days.

Results: The modified Bass (Mod-Bass) technique was significantly (P < 0.05) more effective in removing supragingival plaque than normal toothbrushing practices both in all, buccal and lingual sites. After 21 days, the normal practices did not significantly decrease mean plaque indices compared to the scores calculated after 7 days (P > 0.05), but did so with the modified Bass technique (P < 0.05). The modified Bass technique was specially efficient at the lingual sites where it was 2.9-fold more effective than normal practices in reducing plaque scores (P < 0.01).

Conclusion: The results show that a particular toothbrushing technique as modified Bass method is significantly superior to normal toothbrushing practices in supragingival plaque removal. The introduction of a specific toothbrushing technique, such as modified Bass technique represents an important improvement in the oral hygiene of the patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Dental Plaque / pathology
  • Dental Plaque / therapy*
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Erythrosine
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oral Hygiene
  • Time Factors
  • Tooth / pathology
  • Toothbrushing / instrumentation
  • Toothbrushing / methods*
  • Toothpastes / therapeutic use


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Toothpastes
  • Erythrosine