Dental Tribune Europe

Researchers associate electric toothbrushing with tooth retention

By Dental Tribune International
October 02, 2019

GREIFSWALD, Germany: Various studies have investigated the short-term oral health benefits of using an electric or a manual toothbrush. A recent study examined the long-term effects of powered toothbrushes on periodontal health, caries and tooth loss in adults. The findings showed that participants who used electric toothbrushes experienced less edentulism than those who used manual toothbrushes did. Additionally, brushing teeth with an electric toothbrush was associated with fewer periodontal pockets and an improved attachment of teeth to the gingivae and bone.

The longitudinal study included 2,819 participants from the Study of Health in Pomerania conducted in north-east Germany. The participants were examined between 2002 and 2006, and follow-ups were conducted after six and 11 years. Only 18% of the participants had used an electric toothbrush at baseline. After 11 years, the figure had increased to 37%.

The results revealed that the participants who had used an electric toothbrush experienced 19.5% less edentulism during the follow-up period compared with those who had used a manual toothbrush. Similarly, participants who had brushed their teeth with an electric toothbrush at least twice a day experienced slightly better oral health results compared with those who had brushed their teeth with a manual toothbrush. Interestingly, electric toothbrushing was only highly effective in retaining teeth in participants with mild or no periodontitis.


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“Electric toothbrushes have become increasingly popular among all age groups in Germany, but few studies have tested their long-term effectiveness,” said co-author Dr Vinay Pitchika, a postdoctoral research fellow in the department of periodontics at Universitätsmedizin Greifswald. “Our study shows electric toothbrushes are most beneficial in maintaining good oral health and are linked with slower progression of periodontal disease,” he concluded.

The researchers are currently working on a project aimed at assessing the effectiveness of powered toothbrushes in a German representative sample. Following the project, they are also planning to assess the long-term effectiveness of interdental appliances.

The study, titled “Long‐term impact of powered toothbrush on oral health: 11‐year cohort study”, was published in the July 2019 issue of the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.

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