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Using an Evidence-based Approach to Making Patient Recommendations for Power Toothbrushes

Course Number: 648

Brush Heads

Today’s advanced brush technologies are definitely not “one size fits all.” Because patients have individual oral hygiene needs, some manufacturers offer multiple brush head options, including round, conical, or manual-like heads for targeted cleaning and/or patient preference.

For example, the Oral-B brush head is round, similar to a professional’s rubber cup used for polishing. It’s size, shape and angle allow it to adapt to each tooth surface by cupping the tooth and allowing patients to clean difficult-to-reach surfaces. In addition to soft end-rounded bristles, each brush head has unique features designed to address specific patient needs. Indicator™ bristles signal when patients should replace their brush head for optimal plaque removal and safety. A variety of interchangeable brush heads for different patient needs are available for adults, children, and orthodontic patients as well as for interdental spaces (Figure 5a).

Figure 5a. Variety of Oral-B Interchangeable Brush Heads.

Brush Heads - Figure 1

Oral-B CrossAction Brush Head

Brush Heads - Figure 2

Oral-B FlossAction Brush Head

Brush Heads - Figure 3

Oral-B 3D White Brush Head

Brush Heads - Figure 4

Oral-B Precision Clean Brush Head

Figure 5a. Variety of Oral-B Interchangeable Brush Heads.

Brush Heads - Figure 5
Brush Heads - Figure 6
Brush Heads - Figure 7

Currently replacement brush heads for Oral-B are compatible across all of their power toothbrush series (GENIUS, Smart, PRO/Vitality) with the exception of Oral-B iO, which has a different new system as part of the complete internal and external redesign (including the new linear magnetic drive) that this next-generation oscillating rotating toothbrush represents. The round brush heads for the Oral-B iO also represents a complete redesign, including the ‘Tuft-in-Tuft’ feature for plaque removal in hard to reach areas. Slight twisting of tufts allows for adaptability on tooth surfaces for an optimal clean. (Figure 5b).9

Brush Heads - Figure 8

Figure 5b.Oral-B iO Brush Head.

In contrast, sonic brush heads closely resemble that of a manual toothbrush, which some patients favor (Figure 6). Unlike Oral-B, the leading sonic toothbrush manufacturer states that its single brush head can be used for multiple patients’ needs. For example, directions are provided for those with braces. (See Box).

Figure 6. Variety of Sonic Brush Heads.

Brush Heads - Figure 9
Brush Heads - Figure 10
Brush Heads - Figure 11

Figure 6. Variety of Sonic Brush Heads.

Brush Heads - Figure 12

Sonicare C3 Premium Plaque Control

Brush Heads - Figure 13

Sonicare C3 Premium Plaque Control

Philips Sonicare Instructions on How to Brush Your Teeth Wearing Braces

  1. Wet the bristles of the brush head.
  2. Apply a small amount of toothpaste.
  3. Place the bristles against your teeth at a 45° angle.
  4. Press the power button to start brushing.
  5. First, brush above the brackets. Then below the brackets.
  6. Finally, clean between your braces with a circular motion. Please do not force the bristles into the gaps of your braces.