A comparison of the efficacy of powered and manual toothbrushes in controlling plaque and gingivitis: a clinical study
Department of Periodontology and Implantology, SGT Dental College and Research Institute, Gurgaon (Haryana), India
Background: Plaque is intimately related to the production and progress of dental caries and inflammatory gingival and periodontal diseases. Good plaque control facilitates the return to health for patients with gingival and periodontal diseases. Daily use of a toothbrush and other oral hygiene aids is the most dependable way to achieve oral health benefits for all patients.
Methods: A randomized clinical trial was conducted to compare the efficacy of a powered toothbrush with a manual toothbrush in controlling plaque and gingivitis over a 6-week period. The sample consisted of 60 dental students of both sexes, with ages ranging from 18 to 28 years. The samples were stratified and randomly divided into two groups of 30 by a second examiner using the coin toss method; one group used a manual toothbrush and the other group used a powered toothbrush. Each participant’s gingival index, plaque index and oral hygiene index were assessed on the seventh, 14th, and 45th days on the basis of the assigned toothbrush. Collected data were analyzed and different subgroups were compared using Student’s t-test.
Results: A paired t-test revealed a highly significant reduction in the gingival, plaque, and oral hygiene index scores of the manual and powered groups at the first, second, and sixth weeks (P-value < 0.0001). An unpaired t-test revealed a significant reduction between the plaque index scores of the manual and powered groups at the second week (P-value < 0.05). Another unpaired t-test revealed a highly significant reduction between the plaque index scores of the manual and powered groups at the sixth week (P-value < 0.0001).
Conclusion: The subject group using the powered toothbrush demonstrated clinical and statistical improvement in overall plaque scores. Powered toothbrushes offer an individual the ability to brush the teeth in a way that is optimal in terms of removing plaque and improving gingival health, conferring good brushing technique on all who use them, irrespective of manual dexterity or training.
Keywords: plaque control, oral hygiene, powered toothbrush
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