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Using an Evidence-based Approach to Making Patient Recommendations for Power Toothbrushes
Power/Electric Toothbrush Safety Data

Course Author(s): Lesley McGovern Kupiec, RDH, MSDH; Jane L. Forrest, EdD, BSDH

Power/Electric Toothbrush Safety Data

Most leading electric toothbrushes have been tested extensively both in the laboratory and in clinical trials for gentleness to the dentition and gingivae, including assessments for some brushes of applied pressure (force), incidence of abrasions, and measurement of any associated gingival recession. A study evaluating the brushing force of individuals using a manual toothbrush and three electric toothbrushes with distinct modes of action showed that considerably more force was used by those patients using the manual brush, while less force was used with the electric brushes.46 This study was conducted before the safety features such as pressure sensors indicating when too much force is applied, and now with the new iO alerting the user when optimal pressure is applied.

Multiple independent clinical investigations of gingival recession or gingival abrasion have been conducted comparing participants brushing with either an O-R or sonic power toothbrush with those brushing with a manual toothbrush.47 Findings from these studies consistently demonstrated that participants using a power toothbrush did not experience greater gingival recession or gingival abrasion than those participants using a manual toothbrush and concluded that the power toothbrush did not show a higher risk of tooth abrasion compared to the manual brush.47 Investigators stated, “… concern that power tooth brushing results in a higher risk for gingival recession is not warranted,” and no adverse effects on oral hard and soft tissues were observed.51