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Compend Contin Educ Dent. 1995 Jul;16(7):694, 696, 698; quiz 708.

A review of current toothbrush bristle endo-rounding studies.

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Department of Periodontics, Endodontics, and Dental Hygiene, University of Louisville, School of Dentistry, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.


Rounded toothbrush bristle tips are desirable because they are less likely to abrade hard and soft tissue and restorative materials than sharp-pointed bristles. Studies evaluating different types of toothbrushes have compared the degree of the end-roundness of different brands of toothbrushes, but have yielded conflicting results. Nine studies and three methods of evaluating end-rounding are reviewed in this article. Within the limits of the review, it appears that visual inspection of a bristle tip by scanning electron microscopy or a stereomicroscope at a 45-degree angle is the technique of choice for evaluating end-roundness. Of the 9 studies reviewed, 3 studies that used the 45-degree microscopic techniques provide the most useful information of toothbrush bristle end-roundness to date. Of the brushes compared in these three studies, Crest Complete and Improved Crest Complete toothbrushes were shown to have the highest degree of end-roundness. Future research should include longitudinal studies to clarify the relationship of the degree of end-rounding of toothbrush bristles and soft-and hard-tissue abrasion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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