This study was designed to evaluate the efficacy of interdental flossing for preventing interproximal dental caries in the primary and young permanent dentitions. Following a clincial and radiographic examination, first-grade pupils attending three public schools in a fluoride-deficient region were selected. Each subject had at least one contralateral pair of caries-free contacting interproximal tooth surfaces. Experimental tooth surfaces were flossed with unwaxed dental floss by research assistants. The contralateral surfaces were not flossed and served as controls. After 8 months the clinical and radiographic examinations were repeated. Analysis of 249 paired surfaces in 52 children revealed significant differences between the control and experimental surfaces (p = 0.008). These data suggest a dental caries reduction and beneficial effect from the dental flossing procedure.

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