Interdental Brush: Importance and Use

interdental brush

You brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes and think your teeth are totally clean. But do you know that you only cleaned about 60 percent of your teeth? What about the other 40 percent? Well, you will need an interdental brush to clean it.

The other 40 percent is the interdental space.

It is the area between your teeth and at the sides.

A brush head cannot reach such a small space.

Hence, you will need either dental floss or an interdental brush to reach that part.

This article discusses the importance of using them and how to use them properly.

interdental brush importance

What is the Importance of Using an Interdental Brush?

You have a toothbrush to brush your teeth twice a day, and you also use dental floss once a day, then why do you need another product?

Either you can add it to your routine or replace it with floss.

Though it is best to add it rather than using it as a substitute for other essentials.

Essentially it removes plaque on teeth that settles in the interdental space.

The interdental space is the area between two teeth.

Hence, it is a very narrow area.

The bristles in your toothbrush cannot reach there.

However, short bristles on a small head and cone shape can fit through it.

Furthermore, if you use the perfect size for the spaces in between your teeth then it will work properly.

Your mouth contains good bacteria and bass bacteria.

This helps to provide the mouth with a balance of bacteria flora.

However, either good or bad, they settle down on a hard surface in a moist environment.

Hence they cling onto your teeth and the spaces found between them forming a biofilm of bacteria i.e. plaque.

This space is a great place for bacteria to settle down.

It is undisturbed because neither your brush nor your tongue reaches it.

Plus, food gets stuck here too.

Hence, not only does the bacteria stay in place but also gets nutrition.

The bacteria feed on this food and releases acid.

this acid slowly erodes the enamel, wearing it down.

Furthermore, the accumulation of plaque on your teeth can harden to form tartar if you cannot clean it.

As a result, this can gradually swell and bleed gums forming pockets between gum and teeth.

So, you can get gingivitis and gum disease if you do not clean this space regularly.

Though an interdental brush cleans the space thoroughly.

cleaning plaque from teeth

What Are The Benefits of Using it?

When you clean the spaces between your teeth and on its side you are basically cleaning off the plaque and bacteria.

Due to its precise shape and size, it is easier to clean through it rather than through floss.

Hence, it helps to prevent the accumulation of plaque but also the erosion of teeth.

The enamel erosion can expose the dentin cause the bacteria to reach further into the tooth structure.

Hence, resulting in tooth decay and cavities in kids and adults.

Also as plaque builds up it causes bad breath.

Hence you should make it an essential part of your oral hygiene which is specially designed to clean plaque and prevent gingivitis and periodontitis.

cleaning teeth through braces

Furthermore, it assists people with teeth braces in maintaining good oral hygiene.

People who wear ceramic, lingual, traditional metal or Damon braces can clean their teeth using this brush much more easily than using floss.

It is also useful in cleaning through other orthodontic appliances such as a space maintainer and a jaw splint.

Moreover, its design offers precision and accuracy to take out the food debris and clean the plaque.

However, it is essential to pick a brush that has the right size and shape.

The shape of all internal also known as spiral, interproximal or proxy brushes is usually the same.

It has a brush head shaped like a wand whereas the handle is similar to that of a normal toothbrush.

Therefore, it is easy to grip and handle.

While you are choosing a brush to remove plaque and food debris, it is crucial to first select the appropriate size.

Let’s find out more about that below!

selecting interdental brush

Selecting the Right Interdental Brush

On the surface, all brushes may look the same with a cone-shaped wand and a typical brush handle.

However, one of the most important parts of an interproximal brush is the size.

You can probably not find the right fit for yourself unless you know accurately about your interdental space.

A width too big will not fit in the space.

While one that is too thin and small will not clean properly.

Moreover, if it does not fit properly, then you may start forcing the brush into your teeth which could lead to bleeding and damage your teeth.

Hence, leave this to your dentist, let them measure your space accurately.

This way, they can also suggest you a brush with accurate size and shape.

Furthermore, they can teach you how to clean in their office.

This is how you can ensure that you are cleaning properly to reduce the chances of bleeding.

Additionally, you will require a different brush for separate spaces inside your teeth.

For instance, the teeth at the back and those at the front will probably require a different set of brushes because of the difference in the space between their adjacent teeth.

You can use these more than once, make a good investment for multiple uses.

Rinse and clean it between uses and replace it as soon as you notice that the bristles are worn down.

By using an interproximal brush correctly, you will prevent damage to your teeth.

Furthermore, protecting them from tooth decay, gingivitis, cavities and periodontal disease.

Hence, it is crucial to choose the right interdental brush size and shape for your brush to put it into proper use.

Now you may ask, how to use interdental brush for braces and teeth? 

You can either use it before your brush or afterward. Let’s find out!

using interdental brush

Ways of Using It

It is up to you whether you would like to do it the first thing in the morning even before brushing.

Though it is better to use it before you brush.

This is due to the fact that as you will finishing brushing your teeth will be completely clean.

Plus after brushing there will be abrasives in your mouth that should not get in touch with the plaque that will come out while cleaning.

Choose brushes of different sizes for your teeth.

Begin with the front teeth because they are much easier to approach and clean.

The gap between your front teeth is usually smaller so they will require a small brush.

As you are done with the front ones, it is time to move to the rear teeth and then so on.

Insert the brush gently for interdental cleaning.

Pushing it will inevitably cause interdental brush bleeding.

This is also a good sign because you are clearing up plaque which could worsen the bleeding.

However, the bleeding should stop once you use it regularly and start cleaning any plaque present.

If it does not then plaque buildup is probably not the reason behind your bleeding.

You should visit your doctor to look into the cause of this bleeding.

When your brush is inside the interdental space, use the bristles to move it back and forth.

Do not rotate it because that may further damage your teeth.

Just go in back and forth motion.

However, reach the back teeth by curving the brush slightly.

Though your brush will last for a long time if you do not curve or bend it.

Once you are done, rinse the brush thoroughly before using it again.

Then proceed to brushing or rinsing your mouth.

cleaning teeth through braces

Interdental Brush vs Flossing

Well, both of these help to reduce the risk of gingivitis and cavities.

However, an interproximal brush is better than dental floss at cleaning teeth.

It is less aggressive than a floss which only uses a thread and also cleans more effectively.

This is because the bristles can reach in between all corners and spaces.

Moreover, flossing teeth can be harsh as it can cause cuts in your gums.

Also, you can reuse the brush after your rinse and clean it thoroughly.

However, you need to discard some floss threaders.

Furthermore, it is easier to use for people who have dexterity issues and can’t move the floss.

It is also a quick way to clean teeth, much quicker than flossing.

Plus, people with braces and wires find it easier to use this brush rather than floss.

It helps to clean through the wires and brackets.

While a water flosser may help do the same, it may not clean as properly.

Though using floss is much cheaper than using two or three brushes for cleaning your teeth.

Also, there are certain spaces in your mouth that are too thin for a brush to pass through.

Floss is also readily available while you will have first have to measure your space to get a brush.

Either way, they are both used to clean teeth and remove plaque plus food debris.

Hence, if both are in your oral routine then that’s even better.

Summing Up 

An interdental brush can clean through the tiny spaces in between your teeth.

Hence, if you add it to your oral routine, you can take much better care of your oral health.

So book an appointment with your dentist soon to determine your interdental space and get a suitable brush.


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