Does dentifrice use help to remove plaque? A systematic review

C. Valkenburg, D.E. Slot, E.W.P. Bakker, F.A. van der Weijden

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Aims: The aim of this systematic review was to establish the efficacy of brushing with and without a dentifrice for dental plaque removal.
Materials and Methods: MEDLINE ‐PubMed, Cochrane‐CENTRAL , EMBASE and other electronic databases were searched. The inclusion criteria were randomized controlled trials and controlled clinical trials and subjects ≥18 years of age with good general health. Studies that evaluated the effect of toothbrushing with a dentifrice compared to brushing without a dentifrice were included. Data were extracted from the eligible studies, and a meta‐analysis was performed where feasible.
Result: The search was conducted until June 2016 and retrieved 10 eligible publications that included 20 comparisons. On average, 49.2% of plaque was removed when brushing was performed with a dentifrice, and 50.3% of plaque was removed when toothbrushing was performed without a dentifrice. The descriptive analysis indicated that the majority of the comparisons did not show an additional effect of dentifrice use. Regarding the meta‐analysis of post‐brushing scores, no significant difference was observed between toothbrushing with and without a dentifrice (DiffM 0.00, 95%CI [−0.05: 0.05], p = 0.91). The meta‐analysis of incremental data (as means or percentages) supported and strengthened these findings.
Conclusion: The cumulative evidence for this systematic review demonstrates that there is moderate certainty that toothbrushing with a dentifrice does not provide an added effect for the mechanical removal of dental plaque.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1050-1058
JournalJournal of Clinical Periodontology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


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