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, 12 (2), e0172060

Toothbrush Abrasivity in a Long-Term Simulation on Human Dentin Depends on Brushing Mode and Bristle Arrangement


Toothbrush Abrasivity in a Long-Term Simulation on Human Dentin Depends on Brushing Mode and Bristle Arrangement

Mozhgan Bizhang et al. PLoS One.


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the susceptibility of dentin to brushing abrasion using four different toothbrushes (rotating-oscillating, sonic and two types of manual toothbrushes) with the same brushing forces.

Methods: Dentin samples (n = 72) were selected from 72 impacted third molars. Half of the surface of dentin samples was covered with an adhesive tape, creating a protected and a freely exposed area in the same specimen. Brushing was performed with either a: sonic (Sonicare PowerUp, Philips GmbH, Hamburg, Germany), b: oscillating-rotating (Oral B Vitality Precisions Clean, Procter & Gamble, Schwalbach am Taunus, Germany) or two different manual toothbrushes c: flat trim brush head toothbrush (Dr. Best: Original, Glaxo-Smith-Kline, Bühl, Germany) and d: rippled-shaped brush head toothbrush (Blend-a-Dent, Complete V-Interdental, Blend-a-med, Schwalbach, Germany) in a custom made automatic brushing machine. The brushing force was set to 2 N and a whitening toothpaste (RDA = 150) was used. The simulation period was performed over a calculated period to mimic a brushing behavior of two times a day brushing for eight years and six months. Dentin loss was quantitatively determined by profilometry and statistically analyzed by Wilcoxon and Mann-Whitney-U Test (p < 0.05).

Results: The mean (standard deviation) surface loss was 21.03 (±1.26) μm for the sonic toothbrush, 15.71 (±0.85) μm for the oscillating-rotating toothbrush, 6.13 (±1.24) μm for the manual toothbrush with flat trim brush head and 2.50 (±0.43) μm for the manual toothbrush with rippled-shaped brush head. Differences between all groups were statistically significant at p<0.05.

Conclusion: Using the same brushing force and a highly abrasive toothpaste, manual toothbrushes are significantly less abrasive compared to power toothbrushes for an 8.5-year simulation.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: The authors declare that they have no conflict of financial and non-financial interests (Political, personal, religious, ideological, academic, intellectual, commercial, or any other).


Fig 1
Fig 1. DentTest, Department of Operative and Preventive Dentistry, Witten/Herdecke University and Ingpuls GmbH Bochum, German.
Fig 2
Fig 2. Study design.
Fig 3
Fig 3. 3D image of profilometry.
Frontal view of a scan with the reference area on top and the brushed area on the bottom.
Fig 4
Fig 4. Measurement of dentin loss using profilometry for different toothbrushes for different toothbrushes.
(A) Sonic toothbrush, (B) Oscillating-rotating toothbrush, (C) Flat trim manual toothbrush (D) Rippled-shaped manual toothbrush.
Fig 5
Fig 5. Scatterplot of the relationship between dentin loss and toothbrushes.
Mean and standard deviation change of dentin loss (μm) after brushing with different toothbrushes and different strokes (***p<0.001). Horizontal bars indicate statistically significant differences between groups for power and manual toothbrushes, *** p < 0.001, one-way ANOVA with post hoc.

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Grant support

The authors alone are responsible for the content and writing of the paper and received no specific funding for this work.