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Int J Dent Hyg. 2008 Nov;6(4):280-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-5037.2008.00335.x.

The efficacy of woodsticks on plaque and gingival inflammation: a systematic review.

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Department of Periodontology, Academic Centre of Dentistry Amsterdam, Louwesweg 1, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



To review the literature on whether a hand-held triangular woodstick, as compared with no adjunct or other interdental cleaning device in addition to daily toothbrushing, can improve clinical parameters of gingival inflammation.


MEDLINE and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) were searched through February 2008 to identify appropriate studies. Plaque and gingivitis were selected as outcome variables.


Independent screening of the titles and abstracts of 181 MEDLINE and 65 CENTRAL papers yielded seven publications with eight clinical experiments that met the eligibility criteria. The improvement in gingival health, as observed in seven studies, represents a significant incremental benefit realized by the use of triangular woodsticks. None of the studies that scored plaque demonstrated any significant advantage to the use of woodsticks, as opposed to alternative methods, in gingivitis patients.


Evidence from controlled trials, most of which were also randomized, shows that woodsticks do not have an additional effect on visible interdental plaque or gingival index, but do, however, provide an improvement in interdental gingival inflammation by reducing the bleeding tendency.

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