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Using an Evidence-based Approach to Making Patient Recommendations for Power Toothbrushes
Stain Removal/Whitening and Calculus

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

Stain Removal/Whitening and Calculus

Studies have shown power toothbrushes remove extrinsic stains caused by coffee, tea and tobacco better than manual brushing and thus promote tooth whitening, a feature particularly important to many patients. Terézhalmy et al. studied the impact of using an O-R power toothbrush with study participants with existing stain and compared it with a dental prophylaxis followed by brushing using a manual toothbrush. After two weeks, the power toothbrush produced effective stain removal (>90%) comparable to that of the oral prophylaxis with manual toothbrushing.40 These investigators subsequently evaluated the stain-removing capabilities of two sonic toothbrushes in subjects with pre-existing stain, and found both brushes to provide highly statistically significant reductions in stain following two weeks of twice daily use.41

Clinical research also has shown that an O-R power toothbrush can control dental calculus formation. In a crossover trial comparing a manual toothbrush, a sonic power toothbrush, and the Braun Oral-B 3D Excel, the Oral-B O-R brush was the most efficacious, yielding a 63% reduction in calculus from baseline.42