Improving daily flossing for people with braces
Proper dental hygiene is an important daily habit to ensure teeth cleanliness and overall oral health. Flossing is a key step in maintaining proper gum and tooth health. Patients undergoing orthodontic treatment (braces) are particularly susceptible to changes in mouth microbiota and are urged by orthodontists to maintain particularly high levels of oral hygiene to ensure braces and teeth are thoroughly cleaned. Unfortunately, due to the tediousness and inefficiency of the flossing methods currently available for braces, patient compliance is often lacking with adherence rates in the low 20s.
A VCU dental student has developed a novel interproximal brush floss pick known as the Proxy-Flosser to reduce the time needed to completely floss and clean both the teeth and brackets of the braces. This device combines the best characteristics of an interproximal brush with bristles for braces cleaning, and the widely used dental floss picks that increase leverage and ease of flossing for people without braces. This device has been designed to be easily manufactured with soft rubber bristles in the inferior arm of the floss pick. The increased efficiency is expected to increase the patient compliance and overall oral hygiene for patients undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Figure 1. (Top) Diagram of CAD design of the combination interproximal brush and floss pick Proxy-Flosser. (Bottom) Proxy-Flosser method of action animation.