Cleaning Technology Modalities

In addition to their power source, power toothbrushes differ in their cleaning technology mechanisms and can be categorized by the manner in which the brush head moves. Table 1 summarizes the various types of motion and modes of action in power brush movements.

Table 1. Comparison of Power Toothbrush Technologies.
Mode of ActionBrush head motionExamples
Oscillating-RotatingBrush head rotates in one direction and then the other. Does not rotate in full circle.Oral-B Vitality
Oscillating-Rotating PulsatingEntire brush head oscillates, rotates, and pulsates (Figure 5).Oral-B Professional Care Series
Oral-B Smart Series
Side-to-side (sonic)Brush head moves laterally in a side-to-side motion.Philips Sonicare
Multi-directionalBrush sweeps from side-to-side and pulsatesColgate ProClinical
Counter-OscillationAdjacent tufts rotate in opposite directions to each other.Interplak
Circular/RotaryEntire brush head rotates in a full circle moving in one direction only.Rotadent
Rowenta Dentiphant (RowentaWerke GmbH, Franz Alban, Stützer, Germany)
Teledyne (Teledyne Technologies Incorporated, Thousand Oaks, CA, USA)
UltrasonicBristles vibrate at ultrasonic frequencies (>250 kHz).Ultrasonex (Sonex International Corp., Brewster, NY, USA)
IonicBrush imparts an electrical charge to the tooth’s surface.Hukaba Ionic (Dyna-Dental Systems, Tempe, AZ, USA)
Figure 5. Oscillation-Rotating-Pulsating Action.
Image showing oscillation-rotating-pulsating action.
Image presented with permission from Oral-B.