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, 16 (3 Suppl), 267-73

A Profilometric Study to Assess the Role of Toothbrush and Toothpaste in Abrasion Process


A Profilometric Study to Assess the Role of Toothbrush and Toothpaste in Abrasion Process

Sandeep Kumar et al. J Dent (Shiraz).


Statement of the problem: Despite of many studies conducted on toothbrushes and toothpaste to find out the culprit for abrasion, there is no clear cut evidence to pin point the real cause for abrasion.

Purpose: An in vitro assessment of the role of different types of toothbrushes (soft/ medium/hard) in abrasion process when used in conjunction with and without a dentifrice.

Materials and method: Forty five freshly extracted, sound, human incisor teeth were collected for this study. Enamel specimens of approximately 9 mm(2) were prepared by gross trimming of extracted teeth using a lathe machine (Baldor 340 Dental lathe; Ohio, USA). They were mounted on separate acrylic bases. The specimens were divided into three groups, each group containing 15 mounted specimens. Group 1 specimens were brushed with soft toothbrush; Group 2 brushed with medium toothbrush and Group 3 with hard toothbrush. Initially, all the mounted specimens in each group were brushed using dentifrice and then the same procedure was repeated with water as control. Profilometric readings were recorded pre and post to tooth brushing and the differences in readings served as proxy measure to assess surface abrasion. These values were then compared to each other. Kruskal Wallis and Mann-Whitney U test were performed.

Results: The results showed that brushing, with water alone, caused less abrasion than when toothpaste was added (p< 0.008). When brushed with water, the harder toothbrush caused more abrasion (higher Ra-value), but when toothpaste was added, the softer toothbrush caused more abrasion (p< 0.001).

Conclusion: Besides supporting the fact that toothpaste is needed to create a significant abrasion, this study also showed that a softer toothbrush can cause more abrasion than harder ones. The flexibility of bristles is only secondary to abrasion process and abrasivity of dentifrice has an important role in abrasion process.

Keywords: Abrasion; Profilometer; Tooth-paste; Toothbrush.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Customized automated brushing machine to deliver uniform force.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Profilometric kit along with the profilometer

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