Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 18, Issue 8, pp 2045–2053 | Cite as

Analysis of tooth brushing cycles

  • Yuki Tosaka
  • Kuniko Nakakura-OhshimaEmail author
  • Nozomi Murakami
  • Rikako Ishii
  • Issei Saitoh
  • Yoko Iwase
  • Akihiro Yoshihara
  • Akitsugu Ohuchi
  • Haruaki Hayasaki
Original Article



The aim of this study was to demonstrate the effectiveness of an analysis of tooth brushing cycles using a system that measures tooth brushing motion and brushing force with an accelerometer and strain tension gage attached to a toothbrush.


Mechanical plaque removal with a manual toothbrush remains the primary method of maintaining good oral hygiene for the majority of the population. Because toothbrush motion has not been fully understood, it should be clarified by analysis of tooth brushing cycles.


Twenty healthy female dental hygienists participated in this study. Their tooth brushing motions were measured and analyzed using an American Dental Association-approved manual toothbrush to which a three-dimensional (3-D) accelerometer and strain tension gage were attached. 3-D motion and brushing force on the labial surface of the mandibular right central incisor and the lingual surface of the mandibular left first molar were measured, analyzed, and compared. Multilevel linear model analysis was applied to estimate variables and compare motion and forces related to the two tooth surfaces.


The analysis of tooth brushing cycles was feasible, and significant differences were detected for durations and 3-D ranges of toothbrush motion as well as brushing force between the two tooth surfaces.


The analysis used in this study demonstrated an ability to detect characteristics of tooth brushing motion, showing tooth brushing motion to change depending on the brushed location. These results also suggest that more detailed instructions might be required according to patient’s oral condition.


Toothbrush Motion Cycle Duration Acceleration Force 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuki Tosaka
    • 1
  • Kuniko Nakakura-Ohshima
    • 2
    Email author
  • Nozomi Murakami
    • 2
  • Rikako Ishii
    • 3
  • Issei Saitoh
    • 2
  • Yoko Iwase
    • 2
  • Akihiro Yoshihara
    • 1
  • Akitsugu Ohuchi
    • 1
  • Haruaki Hayasaki
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Oral Health and Welfare, Graduate School of Medical and Dental SciencesNiigata UniversityChuo-kuJapan
  2. 2.Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Graduate School of Medical and Dental SciencesNiigata UniversityChuo-kuJapan
  3. 3.Tokyo Metropolitan Center for Oral Health of Persons with DisabilitiesShinjyuku-kuJapan

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