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 electric brush movements.

Table 1. Comparison of Power Toothbrush Technologies.
Mode of Action Brush Head Motion Examples
Oscillating-Rotating Brush head rotates in one direction and then the other. Does not rotate in full circle. Oral-B Vitality
Oscillating-Rotating Pulsating Entire brush head oscillates, rotates, and pulsates. Oral-B Professional Care Series
Oral-B Smart Series
Oscillating-Rotating with Micro-vibrations Brush head oscillation rotation is synchronized with micro-vibrations, a novel, bristle-driven, vertical movement. Oral-B iO
Side-to-side (sonic) Brush head moves laterally in a side-to-side motion. Philips Sonicare
Multi-directional Brush sweeps from side-to-side and pulsates. Colgate ProClinical
Counter-Oscillation Adjacent tufts rotate in opposite directions to each other. InterplakD
Circular/Rotary Entire brush head rotates in a full circle moving in one direction only. Rotadent®
Den-Mat Holdings, LLC@2018
Ultrasonic Uses a very high frequency of vibration to remove plaque and bacteria from the teeth. Does not need physical motion. Bristles vibrate at ultrasonic frequencies of 1.6MHz or 192,000,000 movements per minute Megasonex or Emmi-Dent Toothbrushes
Ionic Similar to a manual toothbrush. Maintain contact with the metal band on the brush which imparts an electrical charge to the tooth’s surface. IONICKISS
Dyna-Dental Systems