Effects of interdental cleaning devices in preventing dental caries and periodontal diseases: a scoping review

Aust Dent J. 2019 Dec;64(4):327-337. doi: 10.1111/adj.12722. Epub 2019 Oct 18.


To identify and map existing evidence on the effectiveness of interdental cleaning devices in preventing dental caries and periodontal diseases, a scoping review was carried out by electronically searching PubMed, Scopus and Embase. Studies on interdental cleaning devices, written in English, and published from January 2008 up to April 2019 were included in the review. Of 1860 studies identified, six systematic reviews (SR) were included in the review. One SR each was on flossing, interdental brushes, wood sticks and oral irrigation. Of two SR on multitude of interdental cleaning devices, one assessed comparative efficacy while the other both the individual and comparative efficacy. All reviews had assessed the heterogeneity and the methodological quality of studies included, and performed data extraction and meta-analysis where appropriate. Evidence ranged from weak to moderate with very low- to low-certainty for the adjunctive benefit of these devices to control plaque and gingivitis. It warrants long-term studies with sufficient power and those assessing the impact of interdental cleaning on interproximal caries to corroborate such evidence. Available evidence on the efficacy of interdental cleaning devices suggests that dental practitioners recommend patient-specific interdental cleaning devices that enable patients to achieve a safe and high standard of interdental cleaning.

Keywords: Interdental cleaning devices; dental caries; periodontal diseases; scoping review.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dental Caries* / prevention & control
  • Dental Devices, Home Care
  • Dental Plaque* / complications
  • Dental Plaque* / prevention & control
  • Gingivitis*
  • Humans
  • Periodontal Diseases* / complications
  • Systematic Reviews as Topic
  • Toothbrushing* / instrumentation