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Clinical efficacy and patients' acceptance of a rubber interdental bristle. A randomized controlled trial

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Interdental cleaning is an essential component of home plaque control to prevent periodontitis and caries. There is limited data on the efficacy of commonly used metal-core interdental brushes in comparison to metal-free interdental brushes. The aim of this study was to compare a new rubber interdental bristle (Fuchs®) with a standard metal-core interdental brush (TePe®) for their impact upon gingival bleeding, plaque removal, and patient experience.

Materials and methods

A single-blind, prospective, randomized, and controlled clinical trial with a crossover design was used to measure plaque index (Turesky-Modified Quigley & Hein Index), bleeding index (Eastman Interdental Bleeding Index by Caton & Polson), and patient satisfaction by means of questionnaires in 39 patients. Each patient was randomly assigned with regard to the sequence of interdental product used and recalled.


Both groups showed statistically significant decreases of plaque after a single usage, respectively. Bleeding was statistically significantly reduced after 4 weeks, with no statistically significant differences concerning between the two tested interdental brushes. Rubber interdental bristles reached significantly higher scores with regard to patient acceptance in overall assessment and in sub-items for less pain during usage, comfort of brushing, and willingness to buy the product.


Rubber interdental bristles were similarly effective compared to the interdental brushes. In addition, rubber interdental bristles were significantly more comfortable for participants than metal-core brushes.

Clinical relevance

Rubber interdental bristles can be used as an alternative interdental cleaning product which may be more accepted by patients.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Johan P. Woelber.

Additional information

Thaer Abouassi and Johan P Woelber contributed equally to this work.

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Abouassi, T., Woelber, J.P., Holst, K. et al. Clinical efficacy and patients' acceptance of a rubber interdental bristle. A randomized controlled trial. Clin Oral Invest 18, 1873–1880 (2014).

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