A Colorimetric Interdental Probe as a Standard Method to Evaluate Interdental Efficiency of Interdental Brush

D. Bourgeois1, *, F. Carrouel2, 3, J.C. Llodra2, 4, M. Bravo4, S. Viennot1
1 Laboratory “Health, Individual, Society” EA4129, University Lyon1, France;
2 Faculty of Odontology, University Lyon1, France;
3 IGFL, UMR5242, Lyon, France;
4 Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, Faculty of Odontology, University of Granada, Spain

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© Bourgeois et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

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* Address correspondence to this author at the University Lyon 1, 11 rue Guillaume Paradin 69372 Lyon cedex 08, France; Tel: +33 4 78 77 86 84; E-mail:


The aim of this study is to evaluate the concordance between the empirical choice of interdental brushes of different diameters compared to the gold standard, the IAP CURAPROX© calibrating colorimetric probe. It is carried out with the aim of facilitating the consensus development of best practices. All the subjects’ interproximal spaces were evaluated using the reference technique (colorimetric probe), then after a time lapse of 1.2 ± 0.2 hours, using the empirical clinical technique (brushes) by the same examiner. Each examiner explored 3 subjects. The order the patients were examined with the colorimetric interdental probe (CIP) was random. 446 sites were selected in the study out of 468 potential sites. The correspondence of scores between interdental bushes vs. colorimetric probe is 43.0% [95%-CI: 38.5-47.6]. In 33.41% of the 446 sites, the brush is inferior to the probe; in 23.54% of cases, the brush is superior to the probe. Among the discrepancies there is thus a tendency for the subjects to use brushes with smaller diameter than that recommended by the colorimetric probe. This review has found very high-quality evidence that colorimetric probes plus interdental brushing is more beneficial than interdental brushing alone for increase the concordance between the empirical choice of interdental brushes of different diameters compared to the gold standard. Uncertainties remain and further research is required to provide detailed data on user satisfaction.

Keywords:: Assessment, calibration, colorimetric probe, interdental brush, grading.