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Using an Evidence-based Approach to Making Patient Recommendations for Power Toothbrushes

Course Number: 648


Power or electric* toothbrushes are designed to facilitate the removal of bacterial plaque and food debris from the teeth and gingiva and to reduce calculus and stain accumulation. With technology constantly improving, there are more options than ever for consumers when it comes to purchasing electric toothbrushes. Several distinct electric toothbrush technologies with differing modes of action are commercially available, and many offer compliance-enhancing features. The current generation of marketed power toothbrushes has been shown to be safe and efficacious. The trouble is that obtaining information today is easy, however growing misinformation creates mistrust and muddies the water between fact and fiction. Consequently, it continues to be necessary for dental professionals to know what products are currently available and keep up-to-date on what the science says in order to provide consumers with accurate information so that they can make the most appropriate evidence based decisions for their own health. The terms ‘power’ and ‘electric’ are used interchangeably. Early toothbrush models were referred to as electric. The use of the term ‘electric’ then transitioned to the term ‘power.’ The trend appears to be going back to the term electric. You will see both terms used in this course, depending on the referenced studies and published articles. Also, ‘powered’ toothbrush is sometimes used as the umbrella term for battery operated or electric toothbrushes.