An overview of established interdental cleaning methods

J Clin Dent. 1996;7(3 Spec No):65-9.


The removal of interproximal plaque is considered to be important for the maintenance of gingival health, prevention of periodontal disease and the reduction of caries. Unfortunately, the toothbrush is relatively ineffective at removing interproximal plaque, and therefore patients need to resort to additional techniques. Floss, woodsticks, rubber tips and interdental brushes currently represent the primary methods available for interproximal cleaning. No one method suits all patients and it is difficult for any of these methods to access the posterior dentition. Floss is the most widely used method of interdental cleaning and the American Dental Association reports that up to 80% of interdental plaque may be removed by this method, resulting in a significantly reduced incidence of caries and prevention of periodontal disease. The main problem with all interdental cleaning is, however, patient ability and motivation. Patients are known to find flossing difficult, especially where there are tight contact points, and therefore interdental cleaning does not readily become an established part of daily oral hygiene. As such, there is a need for new techniques/devices to be developed that will make interdental cleaning easier and improve patient motivation. Results of clinical and laboratory studies have indicated that the Braun Oral-B Interclean (ID2) is a safe and effective device for the reduction of interproximal plaque and the control of gingivitis. In addition, the ID2 was preferred by the majority of volunteers to conventional floss.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dental Caries / prevention & control
  • Dental Devices, Home Care*
  • Dental Plaque / prevention & control*
  • Gingivitis / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Oral Hygiene / instrumentation
  • Oral Hygiene / methods*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Toothbrushing / instrumentation