Is Floss Really The Best Choice For Inter-proximal Plaque Control?
Dental floss has long been the standard for inter-proximal plaque control. We stress the importance of its use to our patients and they all embrace it. From that day forward they are flossing every day without fail. No further discussion of it is ever needed, right? For any of you that find this to be true you need read no further.
Does the above sound familiar? I hope it does. It’s the first paragraph of my last post. In that post I tried to point out the all too common divide between what the patients want and what we feel they need.
Flossing is a good example. We beat the proverbial dead horse. At each visit we extol the virtues of flossing. More times than not to a deaf ear. We do this every six months, year after year. Doesn’t this seem a little ridiculous? I think so.
Maybe it’s time for a new approach. Maybe we need to find out what our patients really want. Maybe there is another way. Even if the other way is not the best way, it may be better that nothing.
In the case of flossing it might be a proximal brush. Some people just can’t get the hang of flossing. They can’t do it, they don’t like it, or they just have no interest in learning. A proximal brush may be a good option. Especially if you’ve seen the current literature which is showing that proximal brushes may be superior to dental floss in the removal of plaque.
There are many proximal cleaners to choose from. One company is TePe, a Swedish company that produces 9 different sizes of proximal brushes. Of course, the Butler GUM proximal cleaners have been around for years. (I have no financial interest in TePe or Butler Dental.)
I cannot tell you what products are best to use. But, I can tell you that none of them work when they stay in the medicine cabinet!