Role of dentifrice in plaque removal: a clinical trial

Indian J Dent Res. 2010 Apr-Jun;21(2):213-7. doi: 10.4103/0970-9290.66629.


Background: The precise role of dentifrice in plaque removal has been debatable. While a considerable volume of literature attributes several beneficial properties and glorifies the role of dentifrice, a small body of researchers questions its efficacy. Lingering doubts are emerging about the plaque removal efficacy of toothpastes and probably a time has come to reassess its role in plaque removal.

Aim: The present study is used to evaluate the plaque removal efficacy of dentifrice alone during the manual brushing of teeth.

Materials and methods: In a double blinded 2 Chi 2 crossover study design, 42 subjects had brushed randomly with or without dentifrice under supervision, with a standard dentifrice and toothbrush, after 48 hours of plaque accumulation, for two minutes.

Results: Plaque reduction with dentifrice was 57.35% and without dentifrice was 66.19%. This 9% difference was statistically significant ( P < or = 0.001).

Conclusion: Dentifrice use does not enhance plaque removal when used in conjunction with a toothbrush, and instead, may marginally lessen the brushing effect. The role of a toothbrush appears to be more crucial in the maintenance of oral hygiene.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dental Plaque / drug therapy*
  • Dentifrices / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Toothbrushing*


  • Dentifrices