Aim: The aim was to assess, in vitro, the effect on surface abrasivity of enamel surface caused by three different types (flat trim, zig-zag, bi-level) of toothbrush bristle design. Materials and Methods: Twenty-four freshly extracted, sound, human incisor teeth were collected for this study. The enamel slab was prepared, which were mounted, on separate acrylic bases followed by subjected to profilometric analysis. The surface roughness was measured using the profilometer. The specimen were divided into three groups, each group containing eight mounted specimens, wherein, Group 1 specimens were brushed with flat trim toothbrush; Group 2 brushed with zig-zag and Group 3 with bi-level bristle design. A commercially available dentifrice was used throughout the study. A single specimen was brushed for 2 times daily for 2 min period for 1 week using a customized brushing apparatus. The pre- and post-roughness value change were analyzed and recorded. Statistical test: Kruskal-Wallis test and Mann-Whitney U-test. Result: The results showed that surface abrasion was produced on each specimen, in all the three groups, which were subjected to brushing cycle. However, the bi-level bristle design (350% increase in roughness, P = 0.021) and zig-zag bristle design (160% increase in roughness, P = 0.050) showed significantly higher surface abrasion when compared with flat trim bristle design toothbrush. Conclusion: Flat trim toothbrush bristle produces least surface abrasion and is relatively safe for use.
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