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Interdental brushes are small, oral hygiene brushes specifically designed to clean the gaps between the teeth - the most difficult place to clean in the oral cavity.

If you brush your teeth with a regular brush, only 60% of dental plaque will be removed. Interdental brush, however, will be a powerful tool which can help increase the cleaning rate up to 95%. This is an item that you can use every day to prevent gingivitis, tooth decay, and bad breath.

In fact, studies have shown that interdental brushes are more effective at removing plaque than flossing if used in combination with regular brushing.

Benefits of interdental brushes

1. Adjustable interdental brush heads

types of interdental brushes

There are 2 types of an interdental brush:

  • I-shaped interdental brush: which comes in a straight stick-shaped like the letter I, helps clean the front teeth.
  • L-shaped interdental brush: which forms a right angle between the handle and the head, helps clean the other teeth (molars).

Interdental brushes have a small head with bristles held on by wire, which is large enough to reach the interdental spaces from easy to hard. The hairs are arranged in descending order with different sizes for better selection.

Interdental brushes often have short handles or special shapes for easy grip and are designed to be inserted gently between teeth.

Interdental brushes can be reused many times and should be cleaned as thoroughly as regular toothbrushes. You should replace the interdental brush when the hair is worn or the brush tip is bent.

2. Who should use an interdental brush? 

interdental brushes for braces

Most people can use interdental brushes and benefit from them.

  • People with limited mobility: People suffering from joint problems or with limited mobility may find the brushes easier to use, especially when cleaning the front teeth. The brushes can help clean the spaces in between dentures, bridges, implants, and gums.
  • People with braces: Flossing is not usually possible for people with fixed braces since it can get stuck in the bracket and the archwire, but the interdental brushes can be used to remove food and plaque from between teeth and from around the edges of the brackets.
  • People with spaces between teeth: If you have large gaps between your teeth, the surfaces of your teeth are uneven or your gums are receding, it can be hard to clean adequately with floss. In these cases, interdental brushes are more effective in removing plaque and food debris.
  • People who don't like to floss: Many people do not like flossing simply because they find it difficult or it takes them longer in the effort of passing the thread through each tooth gap, especially the gaps between the molars. Thus, interdental brushes may be a better option for you. Plus, it is easier to use!

3. Thorough oral hygiene

oral hygiene with interdental brushes

Toothbrushes, toothpaste, and dental floss are tools that support daily oral hygiene. However, is that enough to ensure comprehensive oral hygiene?

Floss is used to clean spaces or gaps between teeth, but this tool is easy to damage the gums.

This can accelerate the process of infection of the oral area. Besides, flossing is usually only effective in cleaning the front teeth. The back teeth have different positions and shapes, making it difficult to clean with floss. This condition can potentially cause diseases such as gingivitis, periodontitis, etc. which are the common causes of tooth loss.

Interdental brushes are shaped to make contact with the grooves to remove plaque, debris, and prevent the penetration of bacteria and cavities. The brush head is designed to allow easy access between gaps and grooves in order to properly clean, resulting in less damage.

To use the interdental brush, please note the following:

  • First, brush your teeth with a regular toothbrush and mouthwash.
  • Choose the right interdental brush size: if you are using it for the first time, try an interdental brush with the smallest size to get used to.
  • Point the brush at the space between teeth, keep the handle at an angle of 90 degrees to the teeth, gently brush to avoid pressing on the teeth and gums.
  • Hold the handle, gently push the head through the gap to the other side, then slowly draw out.
  • Clean the brush and keep in a dry place.

When first starting using interdental brush, your gums may hurt and bleed a little when you try to remove plaque on your teeth. This could be because you chose the wrong size or apply a bit too hard. When notice not to repeat these, the bleeding will lessen, and you can improve the health of the gums.

If you still bleed after a few days despite choosing the right size of an interdental brush, and gently use it, come visit your dentist so they can check if you are using the interdental brush correctly.

Together with regular brushes and mouthwash, an interdental brush is also a tool that helps bring about a more comprehensive oral cleaning. Interdental brushes are now sold in many places, you may visit a dental center to find high-quality dental tools and get good advice on how to use them properly!