The Rotadent was designed to resemble a dental hygienist’s handpiece that is used to clean and polish teeth. The original Rotadent was introduce in 1985 with the most recent update, the Rotadent Plus being introduced in 2010. When the Rotadent Plus was introduced the original Rotadent name was changed from Rotadent One Step to Rotadent Legacy but it is the same product. Brush heads are still available for the Rotadent Legacy, although color options are limited as they have discontinued some color options.

The Rotadent Plus

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Rotadent Plus Electric Toothbrush

The Rotadent Plus has many features that were not available in the original Rotadent. The heads are not interchangeable but are still available in the long pointed, short pointed and flat hollow tips. The company claims that all updates are to make the Rotadent more user-friendly and stylish, while still retaining the clinically proven benefits of the original Rotadent.

Instructions for Use

First use the short pointy head to trace the gum line, similar to drawing Ms on the top teeth and Ws on the bottom teeth. After doing this around all teeth cheek and tongue side you switch to the flat hollow head to go over any areas missed with the pointy brush. The technique is the same for both Rotadents. This video shows a hygienist teaching Rotadent use with both the pointy and flat hollow heads

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How to use the Rotadent properly

As I mentioned before, the same technique is used with both the Rotadent One Step/Legacy and with the Rotadent Plus. When you first begin using this brush you may notice that it tickles quite a bit when used behind the top front teeth, this feeling will go away with continued use.

Head Types

Hollow Head

This head is flat with a hollow area in the center. It is the most like a dental hygienist’s prophy angle. When used the microfilament bristles will spread out and remove plaque from below the gum line. This head does not reach in between teeth as well as the other tips that are available. I usually have patients use this head with one of the other two to remove plaque from flat areas and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.

Short Head

This head has a short point in the center. This is my favorite Rotadent head. The point helps patients clean areas that are hard to reach with a normal toothbrush. It reaches between teeth, below the gum line and around crowded teeth. This is the ideal brush for patients with braces because it easily reaches around brackets and under wires. It is considered a universal head which means it can clean all areas. I often recommend this along with the hollow head when patients are learning to use the Rotadent. Use this head to trace along the gums to remove plaque just below the gums and to get into spaces between teeth and crowded areas.

Long Head

This head has an elongated pointed tip. This head is best for patients with bridges, implants or large spaces between the teeth. It can be used to trace the gums like the short head to remove plaque from below the gum line as well.

The heads of the Rotadent One-Step/Legacy and the Rotadent Plus are not interchangeable. The heads for the Rotadent One-Step/Legacy easily push on and pull off, while the heads for the Rotadent Plus have to line up properly and be turned to attach to the brush handle.

Scientific Research Says…

  • The Rotadent is as effective at plaque removal as a manual toothbrush, floss and toothpicks.1
  • The Rotadent is as effective as an oral hygiene kit containing a manual toothbrush, interproximal brush, toothpicks, disclosing tablets and a lighted mouth mirror.2
  • The Rotadent is effective at plaque removal without damaging tissues.3
  • The Rotadent removes 92% of plaque in the first minute of use4
  • The Rotadent was superior to manual, Interplax and Braun brushes at removing chlorhexidine and tea stains and was less abrasive as well5
  • The Rotadent helps prevent decalcification and gingivitis in adolescents with braces6
  • The Rotadent helps reduce plaque in orthodontic patients7
  • The Rotadent has better interproximal reach and cleans efficiently with a least amount of pressure (compared to the Interplax, Braun and Sonicare).8
  • The Rotadent with long pointy tip was more effective at reaching into furcations compared to Interplax.9
  • The Rotadent removes more plaque from between teeth and at the gum line than the Ultreo electric tooth brush10



Boyd, R.L., Renfrow, A., Price, A.,Robertson, P.B., and Murray, P. “Effects on Periodontal Status of Rotary Electric Toothbrushes vs. Manual toothbrushes during periodontal Maintenance: 1 Clinical Results” Journal of Periodontology. Vol 60, No. 7:390-394. 1989.


Glavind, L. and Zeuner, E. “The Effectiveness of a Rotary Electric Toothbrush on Oral Cleanliness in Adults” Journal of Clinical Periodontology, Vol. 13, No. 2: 135-138, 1986.


Horton, J.E. -Ohio State School of Dentistry, Dept. of Periodontology “A New Commercially Available Rotary Toothbrush” Unpublished,1984.


Preber, H., Ylippa, V., Bergstrom, J., and Ryden, H. “A Comparative Study of Plaque Removing Efficiency Using Rotary Electric and Manual Toothbrushes” Swedish Dental Journal 15: 229-234, 1991.


McLey, I., Zahradnik, R., and Sarker, S.”Relative Abrasiveness and Cleaning Efficiency of Three Powered Brushing Instruments” Journal of Clinical Dentistry, Vol. 8, No. 3, March, 1997.


Boyd, R.L., and Rose, C. “The Effect of Rotary Electric Toothbrush vs. Manual Toothbrush on Decalcification During Orthodontic Treatment” Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics 105: 490, 1994.

7Asmar, J., Nathanson, D. and Gianelly, A. “Efficacy of a Rotary Electric vs. a Manual Toothbrush in Orthodontic Patients” Journal of Dental Research, Vol. 71: Abstract no. 1162, March 1992.

McLey, L., Zahradnik, R., and Sarker, S. “Model to Assess Interproximal Cleaning by Four Powered brushing Instruments.” Journal of Clinical Dentistry, Vol. 8, No. 3, March 1997.


Meyer, C.J., Killoy, W.J., Lowve, J.W, Youngblood, J.J., and Feil P.-University of Kansas City School of Dentistry, Dept of Periodontics- “The Effectiveness of Five Oral Hygiene Devices on Removal of Plaque from Furcation Areas of Multirooted Teeth” Unpublished.

10Bader, H. “Comparative Efficacy of Two Powered Brushes in Interproximal Areas” 2008.

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