How important is interdental cleaning? – Going beyond the toothbrush.



How many of us make cleaning our teeth our top priority? And how many of us think beyond a toothbrush when it comes to teeth cleaning?

Twice daily with a toothpaste which contains fluoride is a healthy start, but a brush will only reach 60% of the surfaces of your teeth. Interdental cleaning will clean in between your teeth and clean the surfaces that the brush doesn’t. It’s a simple move, but it can transform your oral health.

The Oral Health Foundation has some excellent information and advice:

The Importance of Interdental Brushes

Plaque can build up between the teeth, in those places and spaces where our normal toothbrush can’t reach. This can lead to gum inflammation, teeth decay and bad breath. Buying a supply of the small brushes known as interdental brushes is a wise choice, because they’re so easy to use and so effective in maintaining a clean and fresh mouth.

Initially, there may be some soreness whilst your mouth becomes accustomed to this additional cleaning. However, it’s important not to stop and to check for any signs of blood. If this continues longer than a few days, it is well worth a trip to your dentist, because the bleeding could be a sign of gum disease. The sooner you are advised and treated for this, the better.




What size should I use?

Your dentist or hygienist is best placed to advise on which size from the selection available is best for you. In the meantime, and starting with the smallest interdental brush, try inserting it between your teeth, starting closest to the gum. Don’t force the brush. It should be a snug fit but the wire itself should not touch the teeth or gums.

When inserted, move the brush backwards and forwards a few times.

You will find you need different sizes because the spaces between your teeth range in size, which is normal. Be sure that you know which size is needed for which teeth.




Method of use

The front teeth – Use a straight interdental brush.

The back teeth – curve the brush slightly so that the angle improves access.

Once you have chosen the angle at which to bend the brush, don’t change it, because this shortens its life.

After a couple of weeks of using interdental brushes once a day, this will become a normal part of your routine which you’ll appreciate when you notice the improvement.

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