A testing system for electric toothbrushes

H. Sahota, G. Landini, A. Damien Walmsley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To assess in vitro the contributions of mechanical and acoustic microstreaming forces around electric toothbrushes to remove cheese using an experimental model. Materials and Methods: Four toothbrushes, Braun Oral-B Plaque Remover (D7), Braun Oral-B Ultra Plaque Remover (D9), Interplak (IP) & Sonicare (SC), were investigated. A model system consisting of a layer of 0.2 mm thick cheese was applied to a microscope slide. The toothbrushes were operated in contact with the slide under loads of 0.3 N dry or with the bristles immersed in 2 mm of water. Turbulence around the moving head was assessed with the bristles placed non-contacting, 1 mm above the slide. An experiment with contact for 2 seconds and then 10 seconds non-contact was also made. The slides were stained and image analyzed. The area of removal was measured together with the "average cleaning/brush contact unit area", (the area of removal was divided by bristle contact area. Results: The removal pattern varied. D9 and SC were efficient when operated dry. When the brushes were operated in water, the D9, SC, and IP were efficient in removing the cheese. With no contact, SC produced disruption of the cheese layer while the other brushes did disturb the surface but did not remove completely the cheese. This disturbance without removal was not recorded by image analysis. When the vibrating brushes were allowed to touch the medium and then moved away, a large amount of removal occurred. Larger amounts of removal took place with the D7, D9 and the SC. The use of brushes with a larger head and bristle contact produced a larger area of removal. However, when the "average cleaning/brush contact unit area" was used, the smaller headed brushes produced a larger amount of removal relative to their size. These differences in the removal characteristics between the four electric toothbrushes in vitro suggest that such a model system may prove useful in testing such devices before they are assessed clinically.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-275
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Dentistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998


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