e. Interdental Stimulators. Interdental stimulators are used to supplement
toothbrushing and flossing for certain patients. Included are patients with moderate to
severe recession of interproximal gingiva or patients whose alignment of the teeth
makes it difficult to clean and stimulate certain areas by other means. Interdental
stimulators are available as soft, tapered, balsa wood or soft, conical, rubber tips
mounted on a handle, often on the opposite end of a toothbrush handle. See figure 4-3.
Before either is used, the teeth are cleaned. Balsa wood stimulators are triangular in
cross section. They are inserted into the interproximal areas as far as possible with
comfort, with the base of the triangle resting on the interproximal gingiva. This
procedure is repeated gently several times in each interdental area. When rubber tips
are used, they also are inserted as far as possible into the interproximal area without
causing discomfort. The tip is rotated several times. The procedure is repeated in each
interdental area to be treated.
Figure 4-3. Types of interdental stimulators.
A diet considered adequate for the general health of an individual is generally
considered adequate for his dental health. There are as yet no studies with humans
which clearly indicate that specific vitamins or other nutrients are useful in the
prevention or treatment of periodontal diseases. However, abundant evidence from
human clinical studies shows that fluorides play an important role in lowering the
incidence of dental caries. There is also considerable evidence that fermentable
carbohydrates, particularly sucrose, play an important role in plaque formation and in
the initiation and development of the carious lesion.