An interdental brush is a tiny brush specially designed for cleaning between your teeth. Many folks struggle with flossing and regular brushing can leave behind unwanted plaque in those hard to reach places in your mouth.
It’s important to clean all the four tooth surfaces but the surfaces most neglected are the ones facing the gap between teeth. This is especially so on teeth that only have small spaces between them; crooked teeth can have virtually no gap at all. Getting regular toothbrush bristles into these small gaps is a bit of a hit and miss affair.
When used in conjunction with your daily brushing routine, interdental brushing can help keep gum disease at bay. If your gums bleed or you are concerned about your breath then for just a few pence you may put your dental health back on the road to recovery.
Using an interdental brush is more straightforward than flossing but you should check out my post on how to use an interdental brush if you have never used one before.
Although I would recommend speaking to your dentist before you try interdental brushing; I can appreciate why many will just jump in and give it a go. If you take that route you should understand that using the right sized brush is essential if you want to avoid damaging your teeth or gums. It is more than likely you are going to need several brush sizes as the gaps in our teeth vary.
Don’t force the brush between any gaps. You should be just gently gliding the brush into the spaces between your teeth not forcing things. Your brush should touch each side of the triangular shape of the interdental space, if it feels to tight; try a smaller brush.
Tepe is probably the most well known name in interdental brushes. All their sizes and models have plastic coating on the wire for safe and gentle cleaning. They can even be used for cleaning around dental implants or braces.
Curaprox is another brand name that merits a mention. Their brushes are made of nickel free surgical grade alloy and although quite pricey; are well manufactured by Swiss company Curaden International AG. Curaden own the Curaprox brand and specialise in Oral Health products.
Many reviewers of Curaprox interdental brushes report they are longer lasting, more durable and can withstand far more bending than other makes including Tepe.
There have been numerous studies to find out whether interdental brushing helps prevent gum disease and tooth decay. The scientific evidence suggests that the evidence in support of interdental brushing is very low quality. This of course is in contrast to most dental professionals who do encourage use to interdental brushing, flossing or both.