AIM: To investigate the relationship between frequency of interdental cleaning and 11-year change in teeth with periodontal pocketing in Finnish adults.

METHODS: Data from 1667 dentate adults, aged 30 to 82 years, who participated in the Health 2000 survey and were re-examined in 2004 and/or 2011 were analysed. Participants reported their frequency of interdental cleaning (either dental floss or interdental brush) at baseline. Teeth with periodontal pocketing (PD) ≥4 mm were counted in every survey and treated as a repeated outcome. The association between the frequency of interdental cleaning and the number of teeth with PD ≥4 mm was evaluated in linear mixed effects models, controlling for demographic factors, socioeconomic position, diabetes, smoking status, toothbrushing frequency, dental attendance and number of teeth.

RESULTS: Twelve per cent of adults reported daily interdental cleaning. Significant inverse linear trends in the number of teeth with PD ≥4 mm were found in every survey according to the frequency of interdental cleaning. However, this association was completely attenuated after adjustment for the full set of confounders. Contrarily, toothbrushing frequency was negatively associated with the baseline number of teeth with PD ≥4 mm and its rate of change over time.

CONCLUSION: Interdental cleaning was not associated with 11-year change in periodontal pocketing after accounting for other established risk factors for periodontal disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-320
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Periodontology
Issue number3
Early online date8 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • adults
  • cohort studies
  • dental devices
  • home care
  • oral hygiene
  • periodontal diseases
  • periodontitis


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