We all know that we’re supposed to brush our teeth regularly, and about three-quarters of us manage to do so at least twice a day.
But as we’ve noted before, brushing alone isn’t enough to completely disturb the biofilm (plaque) that builds up on our teeth daily. Floss, oral irrigators, perio-aids and interproximal (proxy) brushes also should be used to thoroughly clean the oral tissues and so prevent decay and gum disease.
According to a meta-analysis published recently in Evidence-Based Dentistry, interproximal (or proxy) brushes appear to be particularly effective in disturbing the biofilm regular toothbrushing misses – even more than floss or perio-aids. And while “evidence available for the effect on gingival inflammation is less conclusive,” it does appear that periodontal pockets can be reduced more when proxy brushes are used.
As you can see, these small, slim brushes fit between the teeth so you can clean their sides, as well as stimulate the gum tissue between them. You should be able to find them in the toothbrush section of your local drug store. If not, you can always order some from an online retailer – or just ask your dentist for one at your next appointment.