Want to know how important it is to choose interdental brushes in addition to / or instead of floss?
Maintaining a proper brushing routine is essential, and making sure you are brushing correctly and thoroughly is crucial to your oral hygiene. Well! Dentists also suggest other treatment options to keep your teeth clean, including regular check-ups and treatment options like a ‘scale and polish’.
However, there is a recommended process that can help keep your teeth clean and maintain oral health between dental visits and reduce the need for cleaning sessions at the check-ups; and that is interdental brushing.
Compared to brushing with a regular brush that removes around 60% of dental plaque, an interdental brush is a powerful tool that helps increase the cleaning up to 95%. You should use it every day – as part of your daily oral hygiene routine – to prevent bad breath, tooth decay and gingivitis.
Types of Interdental Brushes
There are two types of interdental brushes:
The L-shaped interdental brush makes a right angle between the head, and the handle helps clean the molars.
The I-shaped interdental brush comes in a stick-like straight shape (as the letter I), which helps clean the front teeth.
An interdental brush has a small head with bristles seized on by wire, which is enough to reach the spaces from easy to hard. There is a descending order of the arranged hairs with numerous sizes for the best selection.
These brushes usually have unique shapes or short handles for a secure grip and are intended to be moved gently between teeth. You can use interdental brushes many times and clean them as your regular toothbrush. Replace them when the brush tip is bent or hair is worn.
Best for Most People
Most people can use interdental brushes and benefit from them. Moreso, are the following categories:
People with braces: Usually, flossing is impossible for people with fixed braces because it can get stuck in the archwire and bracket. However, the interdental brushes are used to remove plaque and food from around the edges of the brackets and between teeth.
People having limited mobility: Individuals with limited mobility or those suffering from joint issues can find these brushes easy to use, mainly while cleaning the front teeth. The brushes help clean the spaces in between gums, implants, bridges, and dentures.
Individuals who do not like flossing: Numerous people do not prefer flossing because they find it demanding or take them longer to pass the thread through every tooth gap, particularly the gaps between molars. Therefore, interdental brushes can be a better option. Besides, it is easy to use as well!
Individuals with spaces between teeth: If you have significant gaps between teeth, your teeth surfaces are not even, or your gums are receding, it isn’t easy to clean properly with floss. In such cases, interdental brushes are highly effective in removing food debris and plaque.
Thorough Oral Hygiene
Dental floss, toothpaste and toothbrushes are tools that help support regular oral hygiene. But is it enough to ensure complete oral hygiene?
Well! Floss is used for cleaning inbetween the teeth, and is effective for tight contacts. However, it can easily damage your gums, if you do not follow the correct method. Be careful of pushing down the floss hard on the gums, as this would push plaque under the gums, which will in turn swell up and be uncomfortable for at least one day.
Usually, flossing is effective in cleaning the front teeth. There are different shapes and positions of the back teeth, making it demanding to clean with floss.
The interdental brushes are designed to push through the interdental gap to remove food debris and plaque; and prevent gum disease or decay. The brush head is shaped to allow quick access between grooves and gaps to clean correctly, without any damage.
Note the following if you are going to use the interdental brush for the first time:
- Brush your teeth with a regular toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Choose the appropriate interdental brush size: use the smallest size if you are a beginner.
- Point this brush at the space between teeth, keeping its handle perpendicular to the teeth, brushing gently to evade pressing on the gums and teeth.
- Hold its handle, push the head gently through the gap to the other side, and then draw out slowly.
- Don’t forget to clean the brush and keep it in a dry place.
As a beginner, your gums can hurt and bleed when you try to remove plaque on the teeth. It can be because you applied pressure or choose the wrong size. With time, the bleeding will reduce, and you will feel an improvement in the gums’ health.
Together with regular toothbrushing, toothpaste and mouthwash, the interdental brush is an ideal tool that helps bring complete oral cleaning. Now, these brushes are sold in various places. You can buy them online or at your local supermarket. However, you may wish to consult your dentist or dental hygienist first on the most appropriate type and size specific for your teeth.