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prevention International magazine for oral health No. 1, 2017

science | interdental health When used in combination with the Bass technique, a soft-bristled toothbrush with 5,000–6,000 filaments effectively prevents biofilm development. of bacteria that could lead to periodonti- tis and, potentially, systemic disease. Bleeding as a clinical reference Dental professionals agree that, despite clinical evidence in its favour, effective daily cleaning of interdental spaces re- mains a challenge among their patients. So what happens if patients do not use interdental cleaning tools? Despite oth- erwise good oral hygiene habits, many patients experience interdental bleed- ing. According to the latest research, 41 per cent of young adults without periodontal disease or clinical gingivitis have experienced interdental bleeding at least once. This information is cru- cial for daily oral hygiene, particularly regarding interdental cleaning. “There is a need to use interdental cleaning tools,” reasoned Bourgeois. “If you do not use them, you could essentially stop using a toothbrush, as bleeding will oc- cur anyway in the future.” The access widths of interden- tal spaces are relevant to the use of interdental cleaning tools as part of individual oral prophylaxis. As the ac- cess widths of interdental spaces were mostly unknown in young adults, Bour- geois and his colleagues assessed their distribution in “Access to interdental brushing in periodontal healthy young adults: A cross-sectional study”. Impor- tantly, 40 per cent of the sites studied showed bleeding upon passage of an interdental brush. However, this was not significantly affected by the width of the interdental space. Interdental brushes prove to be superior The CPS prime series of interdental brushes by oral health care brand CURAPROX were selected for the study. The researchers concluded that the lat- est generation of brushes was able to access 94 per cent of all interdental spaces, with participants able to easily use the brushes following instructions. As a result, the study concluded that most interdental sites could be cleaned using interdental brushes after their ac- cessibility is established in the dental practice. Conventionally, interdental brushes were only recommended for patients with large interdental spaces, with den- tal floss used for narrow spaces. As the technology has progressed, interdental brushes can now be used in very small interdental spaces effectively. “Dental floss is no longer a priority, as its use is not supported by scientific evidence. For interdental brushes, we have sci- entific evidence. Clearly, interdental brushes have now become the best tool for cleaning interdental spaces,” said Bourgeois. “The majority of studies have re- ported a positive significant difference in the plaque index when using an inter- dental brush compared with floss,” con- tinued Bourgeois. “Indeed, interdental brushes were found to be more effec- tive in removing plaque compared with brushing alone or the combined use of toothbrushing and dental floss.” With 28 issue #1

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