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A 4-week randomized controlled trial evaluating plaque and gingivitis effects of an electric toothbrush in a paediatric population.

BACKGROUND: Few extended studies have explored oscillating-rotating (O-R) toothbrush efficacy in young children.

AIM: To compare the efficacy between O-R and manual toothbrushes in reducing plaque and gingivitis after 4 weeks in children.

DESIGN: This was a randomized, parallel-group, examiner-blind, clinical trial. In two 50-subject cohorts (3-6 years, primary dentition, parental brushing; 7-10 years, mixed dentition, self-brushing), subjects used Oral-B Kids O-R toothbrush per manufacturer's instructions or Paro Junior manual toothbrush in a customary manner. Plaque and Modified Gingival Index (MGI; primary variable) scores were assessed at baseline and Week 4 for all subjects and within each age group.

RESULTS: Both toothbrushes significantly reduced whole mouth and posterior plaque and MGI versus baseline (p < .001). Combined groups: O-R showed greater plaque and MGI reductions versus manual for all measures (p ≤ .003). Three- to 6-year-olds: O-R demonstrated significantly (p < .032) greater whole-mouth (55.7%) and posterior (34.3%) plaque reductions at Week 4 versus manual. Seven- to 10-year-olds: O-R showed significantly (p < .001) greater whole-mouth (94.5%) and posterior (108.4%) plaque reductions and greater (p ≤ .016) whole-mouth (14.1%) and posterior (18.8%) MGI reductions versus manual. There were no adverse events.

CONCLUSION: The O-R toothbrush, used per manufacturer's instructions, reduced plaque and gingivitis better than a manual toothbrush used in a customary manner among children.

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