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prevention International magazine for oral health No. 1, 2017

science | interdental health Why interdental brushes are essential for good oral health Prof. Denis Bourgeois is not only the Dean of the University of Lyon’s dental faculty in France—he is a pioneer in research on oral prophylaxis, interdental biofilm management and interdental brushing techniques. Bourgeois was the first dental researcher to identify the 19 major pathogens in the interdental biofilm known to be involved in periodontitis in young healthy adults. Furthermore, he has pushed for proper tools like interdental brushes to be used to prevent interdental biofilm accumulation and the development of periodontal disease. “An interdental brush can remove around 16 billion bacteria from each interdental space,” said Bourgeois during his presentation at the 2016 FDI Annual World Dental Congress in Poznań in Poland. AUTHOR: DENTAL TRIBUNE INTERNATIONAL / PROF. DENIS BOURGEOIS Prof. Denis Bourgeois Despite advances in oral health care, many patients and dental professionals remain uncertain about oral physi- opathology and the concept of biofilm disruption. Although patients may have bought more oral care products and become more interested in their dental hygiene, many still do not know how to use them correctly. Various toothbrush- ing techniques have been developed for maximum cleaning efficacy, but brush- ing alone is not sufficient to reach and maintain a high level of oral hygiene in the long term. “Most of the current den- tal cleaning techniques are outdated: the main brushing techniques that most consumers use today were established around 1946,” said Bourgeois. While dentistry has advanced, these outmoded techniques have continued to be used among the general popu- lation. “A classical manual toothbrush with 600–1,200 bristles is not sufficient to disturb the biofilm,” asserted Bour- geois. “To do so, a toothbrush should be soft, efficient and atraumatic. When used in combination with the Bass technique, a soft-bristled toothbrush with 5,000–6,000 filaments is the only option for effectively preventing biofilm development.” But what about the biofilm between the teeth? The anatomy of the inter- dental space does not allow for an effi- cient salivary self-cleaning mechanism and makes cleaning this area difficult. Though useful otherwise, conventional toothbrushing is not effective in remov- ing interproximal plaque. Recommen- dations for oral hygiene practices from dental practitioners have now begun 26 issue #1

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