How to Use Interdental Brushes
What Are Interdental Brushes?
Interdental brushes are brushes with small bristled heads designed to clean between your teeth and are especially useful for cleaning between braces and bridges. It's recommended by dentists to include interdental brushes as part of your daily oral care routine. Many sizes are commonly available including 0.40mm (ISO 0), 0.45mm (ISO 1) and 0.50mm (ISO 2). A quality interdental brush should have:
- Ergonomic grip for comfort and control
- Coated wire for gentle cleaning
- Flexible handle to clean small gaps between teeth
Why Use Interdental Brushes?
Benefits of using interdental brushes include prevention of gum disease, bad breath, and tooth decay. As you may already know, a toothbrush on its own can't reach all areas of your mouth. These areas are optimal for plaque to form and food particles to get stuck. That's where interdental brushes come in ; interdental brushes can reach those small gaps between your teeth to remove any build up that occurs. Benefits of using interdental brushes include:
- Prevents bad breath - by removing food particles and plaque build up, interdental brushes can eliminate bad breath.
- Reduces the risk of cavities - as plaque builds up on the enamel of your teeth, the risk of developing cavities increases. Removing plaque helps prevent cavities from occurring.
- Improve the health of your heart - according to a study in 2019, participants that had good oral hygiene had a decreased risk of atrial fibrillation and heart failure. To add to this, the American Heart Association performed a study and found that gum disease appears to worsen blood pressure and interferes with medications to treat hypertension.
How Do You Use Interdental Brushes?
Improper use of interdental brushes can damage your gums and you may not reap the benefits of them as mentioned above. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use interdental brushes:
- Choose an interdental brush size. We recommend you start with the biggest (0.50mm) and use the smaller sizes if you struggle to insert the interdental brush between your teeth.
- Gently insert the interdental brush between your teeth by twisting the interdental brush slightly. Do not force the interdental brush between your teeth.
- Move the interdental brush back and forth to break down plaque and food. This helps prevent bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease.
- Repeat for each gap between your teeth.
- Replace the interdental brush when the brush begins to bend or fray.
A high standard of oral hygiene is essential for good health but a toothbrush on its own isn't enough. Using interdental brushes while also brushing your teeth regularly can allow you to reach all areas of your mouth and prevent plaque build up. Preventing plaque from building up has significant benefits such as preventing gum disease, tooth decay and preventing bad breath so make sure you add interdental brushes to your daily oral care routine!