Aims: The aim of this systematic review was to establish the efficacy of brushing with and without a dentifrice for dental plaque removal.
Materials and methods: MEDLINE-PubMed, Cochrane-CENTRAL, EMBASE and other electronic databases were searched. The inclusion criteria were randomized controlled trials and controlled clinical trials and subjects ≥18 years of age with good general health. Studies that evaluated the effect of toothbrushing with a dentifrice compared to brushing without a dentifrice were included. Data were extracted from the eligible studies, and a meta-analysis was performed where feasible.
Result: The search was conducted until June 2016 and retrieved 10 eligible publications that included 20 comparisons. On average, 49.2% of plaque was removed when brushing was performed with a dentifrice, and 50.3% of plaque was removed when toothbrushing was performed without a dentifrice. The descriptive analysis indicated that the majority of the comparisons did not show an additional effect of dentifrice use. Regarding the meta-analysis of post-brushing scores, no significant difference was observed between toothbrushing with and without a dentifrice (DiffM 0.00, 95%CI [-0.05: 0.05], p = 0.91). The meta-analysis of incremental data (as means or percentages) supported and strengthened these findings.
Conclusion: The cumulative evidence for this systematic review demonstrates that there is moderate certainty that toothbrushing with a dentifrice does not provide an added effect for the mechanical removal of dental plaque.
Keywords: dentifrice; oral hygiene; plaque; systematic review; toothbrushing; toothpaste.
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.