Brushing teeth appears to be commonly recommended, but the evidence appears to be anecdotal. Have any randomized prospective trials been done to determine the efficacy of brushing to prevent conditions such as dental caries?
I am interested in research that measures dental disease, not merely plaque removal.
A Google Scholar search for "brush teeth" returns articles that:
- Compare toothbrushes (eg, traditional vs electronic)
- Compare toothpastes
- Test pre-brush mouth washes
- Editorials/Opinions about brushing
- Survey attitudes toward brushing
- Test new vs old toothbrushes
- Test brush strokes against each other
- Test different electric toothbrush heads
Within the first 20 pages, no articles test the efficacy of brushing. Around page 16, results became less relevant to brushing.
I have looked through the list of ADA references that JonMark Perry refers to. They don't address brushing vs not or the prevention of dental conditions, such as caries. For instance:
The first article, and a few others, are about plaque or biofilm removal, which may or may not be related to dental caries. Since approximately 100% of the population has dental plaque, it's not a useful predictor of dental disease.
Second article is about fluoride levels, not dental caries, or other dental conditions. It also tests brushing duration, rather than brushing vs not brushing.
Several about brush design.
- Some about brush contamination and sanitation.
- Some about gingival abrasion and recession.