Two Randomized Clinical Studies to Confirm Differential Plaque Removal by Sodium Bicarbonate Dentifrices in a Single Timed Brushing Model

J Clin Dent. 2017 Sep;28(3):44-48.


Objectives: This study evaluated and compared plaque removal efficacy of commercially available dentifrices containing sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) to those without NaHCO3 in a single timed brushing clinical study model.

Methods: Two randomized, examiner-blind, three-period, three-treatment, crossover studies were performed in adults with a mean Turesky modification of the Quigley-Hein Plaque Index (TPI) score of = 2.00. In Study 1, 60 subjects were randomized to commercially available dentifrices containing: (i) 67% NaHCO3 plus 1425 ppm fluoride (F) as sodium fluoride (NaF); (ii) 45% NaHCO3 plus 1425 ppm F as NaF; or (iii) 0% NaHCO3 plus silica and 1450 ppm F as NaF. In Study 2, 55 subjects were randomized to commercially available dentifrices containing: (i) 67% NaHCO3 plus 1425 ppm F as NaF; (ii) 0% NaHCO3 plus silica and 1400 ppm F as amine F/stannous F; or (iii) 0% NaHCO3 plus chlorhexidine/aluminum lactate and silica with 1360 ppm F as aluminum F. In both studies, subjects brushed their teeth for one timed minute under supervised conditions. Plaque was assessed pre- and post-brushing according to a six-site modification of the TPI. Mean TPI score was analyzed using an analysis of covariance model with treatment and study period as fixed effects, subject as a random variable, and pre-brushing score as a covariate.

Results: In both studies, mean TPI score decreased in all groups post-brushing compared with pre-brushing. In Study 1, statistically significant improvements in mean TPI score were reported with the 67% and 45% NaHCO3 dentifrices compared with the 0% NaHCO3 dentifrice (p = 0.0003 and p = 0.0005, respectively). In Study 2, improvements in mean TPI score were statistically significantly greater with the 67% NaHCO3 dentifrice compared with both 0% NaHCO3 dentifrices (p < 0.0001 for both comparisons). All dentifrices were generally well tolerated.

Conclusions: A single timed brushing with commercially available dentifrices containing 67% or 45% NaHCO3 exerted a significantly greater effect on plaque removal than commercially available dentifrices without NaHCO3.

Keywords: dental plaque; dentifrices; sodium bicarbonate; tooth brushing.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Dental Plaque* / therapy
  • Dentifrices* / therapeutic use
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Sodium Bicarbonate* / therapeutic use
  • Sodium Fluoride
  • Toothbrushing*


  • Dentifrices
  • Sodium Bicarbonate
  • Sodium Fluoride