Quintessence Int 28 (1997), No. 7 (01.07.1997)
A robot system for evaluating plaque removal efficiency of toothbrushes in vitro
Ernst / Willershausen / Driesen / Warren / Hilfinger
A robot system simulating three-dimensional brushing motions as a function of time has been developed. In association with a typodont and either artificial plaque or chromogenic stain, the robot system can be used to assess the plaque removal efficiency or the cleaning effectiveness of toothbrushes. In particular, the influence of different brush head designs of powered toothbrushes was examined. The study compared the plaque removal efficiency of a cup-shaped brush head (Braun Oral-B EB 5) and a modified brush head (Braun Oral-B EB 9) that incorporates longer filaments on the outer ring, designed for additional interdental penetration. A specially designed artificial plaque was applied to the plastic teeth of typodonts. Artificial teeth were cleaned by the robot system for a 2-minute period with a wet brush hea d without a dentifrice. The remaining plaque was assessed visually by two independent examiners, with a modification of the global Plaque Index. In comparison to the EB 5, the new brush head significantly reduced artificial plaque overall. In vitro data demonstrated the ability of the robot system to reveal reproducible significant differences of the cleaning effectiveness of powered toothbrushes.