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

Course Number: 648

The Road to Automation: Advances in Oscillating-Rotating (O-R) and Sonic Electric Toothbrush Technology

While manual toothbrushes have been the most commonly used mode of oral hygiene, the need for an even more effective alternative has been recognized for at least two centuries. The electric toothbrush as we know it today has its roots in the 1960s. These bulky electric brush forerunners were initially intended for special populations, e.g., those with limited dexterity. Their cumbersome size, unreliable power source, and a lack of concurrence regarding effectiveness all likely prevented broad adoption.4 Over the next few decades, electric toothbrushes were streamlined, and sophisticated toothbrush models with diverse designs and modes of action made their way to the marketplace. These second-generation toothbrushes were no longer solely targeted for niche subgroups as the dental community increasingly came to appreciate the clinically observable benefits of the electric toothbrush for all population segments.