Innovation

Oral-B Pro-Expert - changing the oral hygiene of a population

Dr. Robert W. Gerlach DDS, MPH, P&G Global Dental Research Fellow & Professor



What’s the best way to improve oral health throughout the UK? Other than a dentist in every home, a step-change improvement in daily oral hygiene. That has been the focus of the 15 year global research programme behind Oral-B Pro-Expert which launched in the UK & Ireland in July – the biggest breakthrough in oral care technology since fluoride.

P&G’s consumer research has shown that while toothpaste is a price-driven category, consumers will trade-up and add value to the category when premium technologies are launched and are backed by a strong and trusted brand. Oral-B Pro-Expert is the headline product formulated with two premium technologies – the world’s first and only toothpaste combining the stannous fluoride complex and polyphosphate stain management system and lead the market fighting plaque, cavities and sensitivity and staining.

It’s the product of 15 years’ research and over 70 scientific and clinical studies, with 110 journal articles published. Its two super ingredients – stannous fluoride complex and polyphosphate formula – end the need for consumers to compromise when choosing a toothpaste. It provides leading performance in the eight areas that dentists check the most and goes beyond the current generation of multi-benefit toothpastes. A true ‘multi-specialist’ product.

Oral-B is a brand closely associated with the dental professional. Six months prior to mass launch, P&G communicated exclusively with dentists and hygienists across the country, introducing them to the new technology, sharing the research and demonstrating the power of Pro-Expert’s performance via hands-on experiences. This culminated in the British Dental Association conference in May where Oral-B deployed a category first with our R&D scientists presenting to the 5,000 dental professionals in attendance.

Dental plaque contributes to the most prominent oral diseases and conditions among adults in the UK and Ireland. Our global mapping research in collaboration with P&G skin technologists revealed that ordinary brushing removes only about 50% of accumulated plaque, which subsequently reforms after brushing. To address this residual dental plaque, we used comprehensive chemical screening to select a stannous fluoride that would interrupt metabolism and offer a real potential to impact left-behind dental plaque.

Stannous acts against tooth decay and gum problems – the most common causes of tooth loss in the UK and Ireland. No other single agent in toothpaste has the combined effect addressing cavities, plaque and sensitivity.

Pro-Expert’s advanced polyphosphate cleaning system has complementary advantages – addressing staining, breath odour and tartar formation. It took several attempts to successfully stabilize the stannous/polyphosphate formula that offered exceptional in-use aesthetics, laboratory performance, and clinical response.

While there are more established multibenefit toothpastes in the market, none in our research have shown both the breadth and depth of benefits. In head to head clinical testing, the Oral-B ProExpert technology yielded 56% greater tartar reduction compared to another popular multibenefit paste.

We road-tested Oral-B Pro-Expert technology in combination with advanced Oral-B toothbrushes. We use laboratory robotics to simulate extended use in a few days. We take the best robotic outcomes (with respect to bristle type, design and stiffness) and mechanics (including rotation, oscillation and pulsation), and then test outcomes in clinical trials to assess safety and effectiveness. In our recent studies, combination use of Oral-B Pro-Expert, brush and rinse technologies contributed to virtually eliminate overnight dental plaque formation.

To find out more about our laboratory and clinical research on Oral-B Pro-Expert and its implications for overall health and wellbeing, you can follow us on Twitter or contact us through the P&G corporate press office.

Dr. Robert W. Gerlach DDS, MPH
P&G Global Dental Research Fellow & Professor

Our science

  • The world’s first and only toothpaste to combine stannous fluoride and polyphosphate
  • Over 15 years of development and research, 70 scientific studies and 30 patents
  • The biggest breakthrough in oral care technology since fluoride

Our consumer

  • Up to 96% reduction in stains in two weeks
  • Up to 71% fresher breath after three weeks versus a fluoride toothpaste
  • Up to 56% greater tartar reduction compared with an everyday multi-benefit paste
  • Up to 54% less plaque over 3 months compared to other brands

Our market

  • Bringing Oral-B’s trusted brand reputation in toothbrush technology to toothpaste market
  • A share high of 12% in Netherlands and 16% in Belgium since 2009 launch
  • Driving growth in a category that was previously in decline

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