Interdental Brushing

This type of brush is used with or as an alternative to floss for removing food debris and plaque that become trapped between teeth. By holding the interdental brush between the fingers and thumb, it may be used for thorough teeth cleaning between the teeth and below the gumline. Interdental brushes are available in various sizes and colours to suit the individual.

Why clean between teeth?

During the day, food debris and plaque may adhere to teeth and become trapped between teeth spaces. When not cleaned away, this debris and plaque attracts harmful bacteria that colonises in the mouth, causing gum inflammation and infection. An interdental brush removes this debris and plaque so that bacteria are prevented from inhabiting these hard to reach areas. As part of daily oral hygiene practice, interdental brushes clean and refresh the mouth.

Is an interdental brush a better option than a normal toothbrush?

Please remember that interdental brushes are a specialised tooth brush and not a replacement for your normal toothbrush. They should be used as part of the oral hygiene regimen along with teeth and tongue brushing.

Why is it needed?

Tooth brushes do not reach between all tooth spaces and tooth grooves. Food may remain trapped between teeth or in grooves causing plaque and bacteria to build-up. An interdental brush helps to dislodge and remove this debris thus preventing harmful bacterial growth that may cause tooth decay. Oral cleaning with the dental hygienist also removes debris in hard-to-reach places, such as at the back of the mouth.

How can the interdental brush help?

The little head and bristles of the interdental brush glide easily in between the teeth, cleaning away plaque and debris. A normal toothbrush does not have the same reach and access as an interdental brush.

How do I use it?

  • Choose an interdental brush with a size that suits.
  • Gently slide and rotate the brush between the teeth before sliding the brush out.
  • The brush will contain debris that may be rinsed off before reinserting the brush between other tooth spaces for cleaning.
  • A brush with finer bristles may be used for front teeth.
  • One with larger bristles may be used for teeth with wider grooves.
  • Teeth at the back of the mouth may be cleaned with a larger interdental brush that curves between the tooth spaces.

At what times should it be used?

An interdental brush may be used at any time to clean tooth gaps, preferably over a basin where the brush may be rinsed for re-use. It is beneficial to use an interdental brush as part of a daily oral hygiene regimen when brushing teeth on awakening, after meals and before sleep.

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