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J Clin Dent. 2005;16(3):83-6.

Plaque removal with an experimental chewable toothbrush and a control manual toothbrush in a care-dependent elderly population: a pilot study.

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Myoken Dental Clinic, Hiroshima, Japan.



Oral hygiene and oral health are major concerns for care-dependent elderly persons. The objective of this study was to examine the plaque removal efficacy of a novel experimental chewable toothbrush used by the subjects themselves.


Fourteen subjects whose oral care was usually provided by caregivers in nursing facilities were enrolled in a two-phase, crossover study. The study was designed to evaluate plaque removal following a single brushing with either an experimental chewable toothbrush used by the subjects themselves, or a control manual toothbrush used by caregivers on the subjects. Plaque removal was assessed according to the plaque index of Silness and Löe.


The overall plaque scores were significantly reduced from 2.14 +/- 0.53 to 1.23 +/- 0.39 using the experimental brush, and from 2.08 +/- 0.43 to 1.22 +/- 0.17 using the control brush (p < 0.05). Relative plaque reduction was 41.0 +/- 17.6% for the experimental brush group and 38.8 +/- 16.6% for the control brush group, with no significant difference between the two brushes (p = 0.84). On lingual tooth surfaces, the experimental brush showed a plaque reduction of 68.8 +/- 13.7% compared to 38.4 +/- 22.9% with the control brush, and the difference was statistically significant (p = 0.011). The chewable toothbrushes were harmless and acceptable to the subjects.


The experimental brush was able to remove a significant amount of plaque, particularly on the lingual surfaces, demonstrating its effectiveness for plaque removal when used by care-dependent elderly.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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