In vitro comparison of cleaning efficacy and force of cylindric interdental brush versus an interdental rubber pick


Interdental brushes (IDB) are according to the actual evidence the first choice for cleaning interdental areas (IDR). Their size should be chosen individually according to the IDR morphology. However, interdental rubber picks (IRP) are appreciated better by the patients and are hence becoming more and more popular but the evidence regarding their efficacy is still limited. The aim of this in vitro study was to measure the experimental cleaning efficacy (ECE) and force (ECF) during the use of interdental brushes versus newer wireless types with rubber filaments (IRP), both fitted and non-fitted for different IDR.


Overall, a higher ECE was recorded for IDB compared to IRP (58.3 ± 14.9% versus 18.4 ± 10.1%; p < 0.001). ECE significantly depended on the fitting of the IDB. ECE was significant higher in isosceles triangle compared to concave and convex IDR for both IDB and IRP (p ≤ 0.001). ECF was lower for IDB (0.6 ± 0.4N) compared to IRP (0.8 ± 0.5N; p ≤ 0.001). ECE in relation to ECF increases with smaller IDB. For IRP highest values of ECF were found in the smallest IDR.


Within the limitations of an in vitro study, size fitted IDB cleaned more effectively at lower forces compared to conical IRP.


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