Assessment of the efficacy of the utilisation of conventional and electric toothbrushes by the older adults

Gerodontology. 2020 Sep;37(3):297-302. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-2358.2012.00635.x. Epub 2014 Jul 17.


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of electric and conventional toothbrushes for a group of elderly individuals.

Background: Although the electric toothbrush has been recommended for elderly individuals, there had previously never been a study regarding its efficacy.

Material and methods: Sixty independent elders of both genders with different oral conditions from the Center Adult Day Vitória, Espírito Santo, Brazil, were randomly divided into two groups of 30 individuals. One group received the Oral B CrossAction Power electric toothbrush, whereas the other received a conventional Bitufo Class 32 soft toothbrush to perform oral hygiene. The bacterial plaque index (O'Leary Plaque Index) and DMFT index were assessed as a measure of oral hygiene and oral health. The data were analysed using the Shapiro-Wilk, Mann-Whitney and Wilcoxon tests.

Results: The results of the efficacy of the Oral B Cross Action Power electric toothbrush demonstrated that on the 7th and 15th days, the bacterial plaque indexes were 24.91 ± 12.81 and 22.11 ± 14.46, respectively, which corresponds to a 50.24% removal of bacterial plaque on the 7th and 55.83% on the 15th days. Although the electric toothbrush removed more bacterial plaque than the conventional toothbrush, the difference was not statistically significant.

Conclusion: Both the conventional and the electric toothbrushes were effective in removing bacterial plaque within the elderly group. More studies are necessary to test the efficacy of electric toothbrushes in relation to conventional toothbrushes for elderly patients.

Keywords: geriatric dentistry; oral health; oral hygiene; tooth brushing.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Brazil
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Dental Plaque*
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Toothbrushing