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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 283-287

Home remedies for interdental cleaning: A descriptive study

Department of Public Health Dentistry, Ragas Dental College and Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. R Anusha
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Ragas Dental College and Hospital, 2/102, East Coast Road, Uthandi, Chennai - 600 119, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jiaphd.jiaphd_187_18

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Background: The ignorance toward oral hygiene practices in the Indian society remains a major reason for poor oral hygiene. This has led to food impaction in the interproximal regions of the tooth surface, one of the most commonly faced oral problems. Till date, no evidence exists to have assessed the use of these home-based alternative aids for removing impacted food in the interdental regions of oral cavity. Objective: The objective was to assess the attitudes and practices regarding the removal of impacted food between the teeth among adult population in Chennai city. Materials and Methods: A convenience sample of 183 individuals were assessed. This cross-sectional study was conducted with a self-constructed 10-item questionnaire on individuals reporting to the outpatient department of our dental institution during March and April 2018. The questionnaire included close-ended questions related to demographic details, type of diet, oral hygiene practice, use of interdental aids or any household materials that are available at home, duration of usage, and symptoms (if any). Data were compiled, and frequency distribution was obtained using SPSS software version 20 (IBM Corp.). As the study sample was very small and analysis was not the primary objective, simple description of the data obtained was considered sufficient. Results: Among the study participants, 69.9% (n = 128) reported that they use household material as an interdental aid. Among those 128 participants, 35.2% (n = 45) used combination of materials (including broomstick, toothpick, safety pin, and fingernail) and 32.8% (n = 42) used broomstick, whereas 7.8% (n = 10) used safety pin and 4.7% (n = 6) used fingernail alone to remove the impacted food. About 25% (n = 32) reported pain and 22.7% (n = 29) reported bleeding while using these objects. Nearly 73.4% (n = 94) of the participants reported that they use it for more than 3 years. Conclusion: Our study showed that there is reduced practice of recommended interdental aids compared to the household materials that are easily available at hand. This indicates the lack of basic knowledge about interdental aids and the method of using them. Thus, oral health promotion through health education should identify these illicit oral hygiene practices and provide targeted interventions to alleviate the same.

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