Purpose: To compare a uniquely shaped tapered-bristle manual toothbrush to a toothbrush with bristles uniform in height and diameter for the ability to remove artificial plaque deposits in areas of the mouth that are difficult to access; interproximal areas, the gingival margin and subgingival.
Methods: This study compared a GUM Summit+ Compact toothbrush featuring extremely tapered bristles and conventional bristle ends in a bi-level design. The upper, longest tapered bristles have the final 6 mm tapered to 0.01 diameter mm at the end. The conventional rounded end bristles have less than 0.5 mm tapered down to 0.02 mm diameter. The comparison manual toothbrush (Oral-B 40 Indicator) has bristles that are uniform in height and diameter. Interproximal access efficacy was evaluated using a pressure-sensitive artificial plaque substrate placed around simulated anterior and posterior teeth. Subgingival access and gingival margin cleaning were determined by using simulated gingiva prepared with a 0.2 mm space between the gingiva and the artificial plaque substrate on tooth surfaces and results were recorded as the artificial plaque removed below the gingiva or around the gingival margin.
Results: Interproximal access values were significantly (P < 0.001) higher for the GUM Summit+ Compact than for the Oral-B 40 Indicator. The mean value for gingival margin cleaning efficacy of the GUM Summit+ Compact was significantly (P < 0.001) superior compared to the Oral-B 40 Indicator. The Gum Summit + Compact had a significantly superior subgingival access (P < 0.001) mean value when compared to the Oral-B 40 Indicator. In this laboratory study, the GUM Summit+ Compact toothbrush was statistically significantly more effective for removing plaque from the interproximal areas, at the gingival margin and subgingivally than the Oral-B 40 Indicator toothbrush.