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prevention International magazine for oral health No. 1, 2017

science | interdental health A properly sized interdental brush will help achieve optimal biofilm disruption. Concerns regarding the difficulty of penetrating the interdental space and recommending interdental brushes of the correct size to patients are now resolved. this in mind, establishing the accessi- bility and widths of interdental spaces should clearly be a routine part of pa- tient examinations. The colorimetric probe: Key to success An important message from the afore- mentioned study is that the size of the interdental brush matters. As interdental brushes have an access diameter de- fined by the thickness of their wire core, an efficient cleaning diameter needs to be taken into consideration. Another study by Bourgeois et al. emphasised the need for choosing the right diam- eter so that the interdental brush can fit comfortably into the interdental space. Apart from an individual’s anatomy, in- terproximal spaces differ and change due to age, periodontal health or dental treatment. While under-sizing of the in- terdental brush will affect its efficiency, oversizing might reduce acceptability and efficiency while increasing gingival trauma. Essentially, Bourgeois and his colleagues suggested that the use of a colorimetric probe and interdental brushes is more beneficial than in- terdental brushes alone. By using the IAP CUR APROX calibrating colori- metric probe, patients were able to measure the interdental space and choose a suitably sized interdental brush, whereas over half of them had previously chosen brushes with a suboptimal diameter. According to the study, the colorimetric interdental probe is the only predictable way in which the interdental space can be measured by the dental professional and the patient. A properly sized interdental brush will help individuals achieve optimal bio- film disruption through safe and thor- ough interdental cleaning. Concerns regarding the difficulty of penetrating the interdental space and identifying and recommending interdental brushes of the correct size to patients are now resolved, and interdental cleaning is now easier than ever. The comparison of efficiency with dental floss is, gener- ally speaking, no longer valid. Individual instruction important for good interdental health Despite the clinical evidence, availabil- ity and selection of tools, and devel- opment of appropriate techniques, the main problem with interdental cleaning is patient ability and motivation. Dam- age to the interdental papilla often re- sult from a lack of training. Furthermore, bleeding may deter patients from using interdental brushes even though it will cease after several uses of an appro- priately sized brush. “From a clinical point of view, the oral prophylactic goal of achieving thor- ough cleaning with minimal damage is important,” said Bourgeois. “Only the right technique, repetition and training can reduce the risk of bleeding, harm to soft or hard tissue, and presence of oral bacteria while attaining a high level of cleanliness.” september 2017 29

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