After minor revisions, the position paper was reviewed and accepted by the group. It was recognized that oral hygiene education is a fundamental topic in the Dental Hygienists curricula. Therefore, the group revisited oral hygiene practices to identify new developments in the field and how these should be implemented in the hygienists curricula.
Scope and Questions
1) IN TEACHING ORAL HYGIENE PRACTICES, WHAT ARE THE RATIONALES AND PRIORITIES ATTRIBUTED TO MECHANICAL VS. CHEMICAL, AND MANUAL VS POWERED TOOTH CLEANSING TECHNIQUES IN THE HYGIENISTS CURRICULA?
In order to achieve an optimal level of oral hygiene mechanical plaque control (manual toothbrushes and interdental cleaning aids) has been found to be effective. This is a cost-effective approach and therefore should have priority in the hygienists curricula.
The review has provided evidence that oscillating/rotating and counter-rotational powered toothbrushes can be more effective in terms of reduction of plaque and gingival inflammation compared to manual brushes. Powered toothbrushes mentioned in the review do not refer to battery-operated toothbrushes. In the hygienists curricula, powered toothbrushes should be recommended for patients not achieving an adequate level of plaque control. Powered toothbrushes may be helpful tools for patients with fixed orthodontic appliances.
In general, chemical plaque control should not replace mechanical plaque control. In patients unable to perform mechanical plaque control, chemical products providing effective plaque inhibition (gingivitis reduction) should be recommended.