Date of Award

Spring 1997

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Ferguson, Donald J.

Second Advisor

Kittleson, Russell T.

Third Advisor

Poser, Timothy


For centuries, people have used various methods for cleaning their teeth. Today, individuals most commonly utilize toothbrushes in their oral hygiene methods. In an effort to increase the amount of plaque removed at each brushing, toothbrushes of different sizes, shapes, designs, and materials have been developed. The Hukuba Dental hyg ionic toothbrush is a new concept in toothbrush design. This toothbrush has an ionic action mechanism which creates a polarity change in the teeth. It is held that the Hukuba toothbrush changes the tooth polarity from negative to positive, thereby encouraging plaque ions to be repelled from the teeth. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of the Hukuba Dental hyg ionic toothbrush in the removal of plaque and gingivitis in patients wearing orthodontic appliances. Sixty volunteers with a mean age of 14.9 years agreed to participate in the study at Marquette University School of Dentistry, Orthodontic Department. The sample consisted of 23 males and 29 females who were wearing orthodontic appliances for the duration of the six-week study. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of two groups: Group 1 - control group using the Hukuba Dental hyg ionic toothbrush with an active battery, Group 2 - test group using the Hukuba Dental hyg ionic toothbrush with an inactive battery. The Hukuba Dental hyg ioniic toothbrush with the active battery did not show any improvement in plaque removal or gingivitis reduction when compared to use of the same toothbrush with an inactive battery. Although within groups there was a reduction in plaque and gingivitis scores over the course of the six week study, at no time was a difference noted between groups.



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