Objectives: To investigate the stain removal ability of melamine sponge before aesthetic tooth whitening in extracted teeth.
Methods: Melamine sponge of thickness 40 mm was compressed and the destruction of the partition wall structure during the compression process was examined under a stereoscopic microscope. An extracted human tooth was cleaned by normal polishing or with melamine sponge for 90 s. To evaluate the stain level, the tooth surfaces were photographed under a stereoscopic microscope at 0, 30, 60 and 90 s. The residual stained region was traced in a high-magnification photograph, and the stain intensity was presented as a change, relative to the intensity before the experiment (0 s).
Results: Mechanical cleaning by toothbrushing produced polishing scratches on the tooth surface, whereas use of the melamine sponge resulted in only minimal scratches. As the compression level increased, the stain-removing effect tended to become stronger.
Conclusion: Melamine sponge can remove stains from the tooth surface more effectively and less invasively compared to a conventional toothbrush. As no new scratches are made on the tooth surface when using a melamine sponge brush, the risk of re-staining is reduced. Cleaning using a melamine sponge brush can be easily and effectively performed at home and in a dental office.