Dental Floss/Tape or Interproximal brushes, which is best??
An excellent review of the literature by a Canadian team evaluated the efficacy of Floss over interproximal brush(IP). All studies were peer reviewed, randomised and without bias. the results of this study have also been supported by my 20 years of clinical experience.
The need for cleaning in between the teeth is undisputed. This is where most of the plaque accumulates. It then follows that a lot of decay starts here and gum disease is also more prevalent in this area. The reason for using floss or an IP brush is so that this biofilm of bacteria is disturbed. Once disturbed it cannot cause the damage to the tooth structure or the delicate gum tissue between the teeth. There are other factors involved but we know if the mature bio-film is removed the disease process will not occur.
The advantages of the IP brush e.g. Piksters
· Ease of use is a large factor in patient motivation. There is no doubt that sliding a brush between teeth is easier than the manipulation of floss. Floss requires two hands IP brushes one hand
· Less dexterity is required and therefore cleaning is more likely to carried out effectively
· Smaller brush sizes (grey and pink in Piksters) allows use by individuals with healthy gums where the gum fills the space between the teeth. Traditionally these people could only use floss.
· Large size brushes provides much more effective cleansing in people with large spaces between their teeth
· One handed method can be used with the IP brush
· IP brushes can also be used to more effectively deliver antibacterial agents to the area eg Savacol
· Flossing is limited to cleaning a surface not an area. It requires a high skill level to wrap the floss around the teeth
· IP brushes are very effective for use around implants and orthodontic appliances
Any feedback on your experiences or concerns is greatly appreciated and can answered privately or in an open forum