Connected Health App Improves Oral Health with Real-Time Education
Mechanical plaque removal is, to date, the most effective way to remove the bacterial biofilms that coordinate onto the tooth and gums that cause cavities and periodontal disease1. The average plaque reduction from a manual toothbrush has been reported at 43% from a single brushing2 whereas using a power toothbrush has shown significant improvements to plaque removal reducing whole mouth plaque scores to 59%3. It was the aim of this study to understand if the brushing technique could improve the clinical outcomes of plaque removal during power brush use. Therefore, a connected health app was unified with a power brush to help the patient in real time improve brushing technique.
Methods: The unified connected brush was compared with the same power brush that was not connected to a health app. 80 subjects were screened for eligibility and randomized into study trial at a single center, examiner-blind, parallel-group, design and assessed for plaque removal after a single brushing, after three weeks of brushing twice daily and finally, 6 weeks of brushing twice daily. 79 participants concluded the study, 39 in the connected group (D) and 40 in Non-connected group (T).
Results: Both toothbrush groups provided statistically significant reductions in all plaque index scores at all time points in comparison to pre-brushing scores and the connected group showed significant reductions in all plaque scores at all time points over power brush alone. For example, after one brush use, group D reduced whole mouth plaque from baseline by 60% which was significantly improved (p<0.001) over the group T that measured a 44.9% reduction. Further, the gum line plaque was reduced by 49.5% in group D, 34.7% in group T and finally, interproximal plaque was reduced by 56.9% in group D and 40.2% in group T. Gingivitis was also reduced in both groups at six weeks; 38.9% in group D and 28.9% in group T.
Conclusions: Together, these data suggest that a power brush connected to a health app that guides the user significantly reduces overall and interproximal plaque and gingivitis over a 6 week time course.