Effect of sonic vibration of an ultrasonic toothbrush on the removal of Streptococcus mutans biofilm from enamel surface

Am J Dent. 2015 Dec;28(6):347-50.


Purpose: To evaluate in vitro the effect of sonic vibration of an ultrasonic toothbrush in the removal of Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) biofilm from human enamel.

Methods: S. mutans dental biofilm was formed in vitro on human enamel blocks coated by salivary pellicle. The blocks were incubated with a suspension of S. mutans at 37°C for 24 or 72 hours. The blocks were divided to one of three conditions according to the different toothbrush action modes: ultrasound plus sonic vibration (U+SV), ultrasound-only (U) and no ultrasound and no sonic vibration (control). Samples were exposed to each mode for 3 minutes with the toothbrush bristles placed 5 mm away from the enamel block surface. The samples were observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and quantification of S. mutans was performed.

Results: U+SV showed lower bacterial counts compared to U and control on the 72 hour-biofilm (P < 0.05). The SEM analysis revealed that U+SV and U disrupted the S. mutans chains in the 24- and 72-hour biofilm.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Adhesion / physiology
  • Bacterial Load
  • Biofilms*
  • Dental Enamel / microbiology*
  • Dental Pellicle / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Materials Testing
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Sonication
  • Streptococcus mutans / physiology*
  • Temperature
  • Time Factors
  • Toothbrushing / instrumentation*
  • Ultrasonics / instrumentation*
  • Vibration / therapeutic use*