In adults with inflammatory problems, self-performed mechanical plaque removal is insufficiently effective and should be improved. The aim of this study was to determine the biofilm removal efficacy of a new oral care device, the digital brush (Enacare, Micerium), a disposable gauze product soaked in 0.12% chlorhexidine. Changes in supragingival microbiota were investigated in 30 Caucasian patients (14 males and 16 females) aged 8 to 90 years. All subjects provided written informed consent. Pre-treatment (pre-T) and post-treatment (post-T) samples of supragingival plaque were taken from the right vestibular and lingual mucosa in 15 subjects and from the buccal aspect of the anterior sextant in 15 subjects using sterile swabs flocked with sterile nylon fibers. The samples were analyzed to determine the presence of Candida albicans, Candida species, Staphylococcus aureus,Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus species, oral streptococci, andEnterobacter species. Groups were compared using Pearson’s chi-squared test. The following bacteria were detected: C. albicans (8 pre-T and 3 post-T), Candidaspp. (3 pre-T and 0 post-T), Enterobacter spp. (2 pre-T and 2 post-T), S. aureus (12 pre-T and 4 post-T), S. epidermidis (2 pre-T and 1 post-T), Staphylococcus spp. (29 pre-T and 22 post-T), and Streptococcus viridans (29 pre-T and 22 post-T). Microbiota differed between sampling sites. Within the limits of this preliminary clinical and microbiological evaluation of biofilm reduction in a small sample, the digital brush appears to be an effective plaque removal device. Mechanical cleaning with this tool appears to be more effective on hard surfaces than on mucous membranes.
Key words: Plaque removal, home care, gauze, digital brush, chlorhexidine, bacteria, brush.
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