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BMC Oral Health. 2011 Mar 22;11:11. doi: 10.1186/1472-6831-11-11.

Effectiveness of the bucco-lingual technique within a school-based supervised toothbrushing program on preventing caries: a randomized controlled trial.

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Public Health School, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.



Supervised toothbrushing programs using fluoride dentifrice have reduced caries increment. However there is no information about the effectiveness of the professional cross-brushing technique within a community intervention. The aim was to assess if the bucco-lingual technique can increase the effectiveness of a school-based supervised toothbrushing program on preventing caries.


A randomized double-blinded controlled community intervention trial to be analyzed at an individual level was conducted in a Brazilian low-income fluoridated area. Six preschools were randomly assigned to the test and control groups and 284 five-year-old children presenting at least one permanent molar with emerged/sound occlusal surface participated. In control group, oral health education and dental plaque dying followed by toothbrushing with fluoride dentifrice supervised directly by a dental assistant, was developed four times per year. At the remaining school days the children brushed their teeth under indirect supervising of the teachers. In test group, children also underwent a professional cross-brushing on surfaces of first permanent molar rendered by a specially trained dental assistant five times per year. Enamel and dentin caries were recorded on buccal, occlusal and lingual surfaces of permanent molars during 18-month follow-up. Exposure time of surfaces was calculated and incidence density ratio was estimated using Poisson regression model.


Difference of 21.6 lesions per 1,000 children between control and test groups was observed. Among boys whose caries risk was higher compared to girls, incidence density was 50% lower in test group (p = 0.016).


Modified program was effective among the boys. It is licit to project a relevant effect in a larger period suggesting in a broader population substantial reduction of dental care needs.



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