A comparative assessment of plaque removal and toothbrushing compliance between a manual and an interactive power toothbrush among adolescents: a single-center, single-blind randomized controlled trial

BMC Oral Health. 2018 Aug 3;18(1):130. doi: 10.1186/s12903-018-0588-1.


Background: Many adolescents have poor plaque control and sub-optimal toothbrushing behavior. Therefore, we compared the efficacy of an interactive power toothbrush (IPT) to a manual toothbrush (MT) for reducing dental plaque and improving toothbrushing compliance.

Methods: In this randomized, parallel single-blind clinical study, adolescents brushed twice daily with either a MT (Oral-B® Indicator soft manual toothbrush) or an IPT (Oral-B® ProfessionalCare 6000 with Bluetooth). Subjects brushed for 2 min, plus an additional 10 s for each 'Focus Care Area'. At screening and Week 2, afternoon pre-brushing plaque was assessed via the Turesky Modification of the Quigley-Hein Plaque Index (TMQHPI), and supervised brushing duration was measured.

Results: Sixty subjects were randomized; 98% completed. At Week 2, the mean reduction in whole mouth plaque relative to baseline was 34% (p < 0.001) for the IPT versus 1.7% (p = 0.231) for the MT. For Focus Care Areas, the IPT yielded a 38.1% mean TMQHPI reduction (p < 0.001) versus 6.2% for the MT (p < 0.001). Mean brushing time versus baseline increased 34 s in the IPT group (p < 0.001) while remaining flat in the MT group (p = 1.0).

Conclusions: Over 2 weeks, adolescents using an IPT experienced superior plaque reduction and increased overall brushing time versus those using a MT.

Trial registration: This trial was retrospectively registered ( ISRCTN10112852 ) on the 18th, June 2018.

Keywords: Compliance; Dental plaque; Interactive power toothbrush; Oral hygiene; Technology; Toothbrushing behavior.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Dental Plaque / prevention & control*
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Compliance* / psychology
  • Patient Compliance* / statistics & numerical data
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Toothbrushing / instrumentation*
  • Toothbrushing / methods
  • Toothbrushing / psychology
  • Toothbrushing / statistics & numerical data

Associated data

  • ISRCTN/ISRCTN10112852