Comparison between manual and mechanical methods of interproximal hygiene

Quintessence Int. 1999 Aug;30(8):535-9.


Objective: The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of the automated Interclean Interdental Plaque Remover with that of interdental brushes and Ultrafloss.

Method and materials: The interdental hygiene effectiveness of 35 healthy patients suffering from gingivitis was studied by an examiner daily over a period of 1 week. The sizes of the interdental spaces were classified and corresponding-sized interdental brushes or floss was selected. In a random, split-mouth design both interdental cleaning methods, mechanical and manual, were applied while the patients continued to use standard brushing techniques. Disclosed proximal plaque, the papillary bleeding index, and interdental bleeding tendency on stimulation were evaluated.

Results: The papillary bleeding index was reduced from an average value of 40% to 25%. Only 5% of interproximal plaque remained after manual interdental cleaning, whereas 40% of plaque was still present after use of the Interclean device. Cleaning efficiency of manual and mechanical methods was comparable in only 1 interproximal space size. At the end of the study, the interdental bleeding on stimulation was significantly higher in the automatically cleaned interspaces than in the manually cleaned spaces.

Conclusion: Manual interproximal cleaning was more effective than the automated device.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dental Devices, Home Care
  • Dental Plaque Index
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oral Hygiene / instrumentation*
  • Oral Hygiene Index
  • Periodontal Index
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Toothbrushing / instrumentation