Interdental Cleansing Aids and Its Procedure

Interdental Cleansing Aids and Its Procedure

Brushing method does not eliminate interdental plaque completely from which majority of dental and periodontal disease appears to originate. For this purpose interdental cleansing aids is crucial to augment the effect of tooth brushing.

Two types of interdental cleansing aids are described here.

A. Dental floss:

This is a multifilament nylon yarn that is either twisted or non twisted, bounded or non bounded, waxed or unwaxed and thick or thin.

How to use:

1. Start with a piece of floss long enough (1 feet) to grasp securely.

2. Wrap the floss around the fingers or have the ends tied together in a loop.

3. Stitch the floss tightly between the thumb and forefinger or both forefingers and pass it gently through each contact area with a firm sideward sawing motion. Avoid forcibly snap the floss past the contact area because this may injury the interdental gingiva.

4. Wrap the floss around the proximal surface of one tooth, and slip it to the base of the gingival sulcus.

5. Move the floss firmly along the tooth up to the contact area and gently down into the sulcus again, repeating this up and down stroke five or six times maintain a line angle contact of the floss around the proximal surface for effective clean.

6. Move the floss across the interdental gingiva and repeat the procedure in the proximal surface of the adjacent tooth.

7. Continue through the whole dentition including the distal surface of the last tooth in each quadrant.

8. When the working portion of the floss becomes soiled or begins to shred, move to a fresh portion of floss.

Flossing can be made easier by using a floss holder which is more time consuming to use than the loop. But it is helpful:

1. For patients lacking manual dexterity.

2. For nursing personnel assisting handicapped and hospitalized patients.


Dental floss is used to eliminate plaque from regular, plane and narrow spaced interproximal surface of the teeth rather than concave irregular and wide one.

B.Interdental cleansers


Interdental cleansers are used to remove plaque from concave root surfaces and furcations with large or open interdental spaces such as those found in periodontally treated dentitions.


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