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Preventive dentistry: Interdental brushing

Interdental brushing

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What is an interdental brush?

It is a small brush that can be held between your thumb and your fingers.  Interdental brushes are available in various sizes which enables you to choose which size is most suitable for you.  You may need to use more than one size to enable you to effectively clean all spaces between your teeth.


Why clean between teeth?  

Over the course of a day, food and debris get lodged in between your teeth, and in any gaps you may have.  If left, this debris can cause dental decay and gum disease.  Removing food debris and plaque with an interdental brush will help keep your breath fresh.  Cleaning in between your teeth makes sure that you are cleaning your mouth as thoroughly as possible.


Should I use an interdental brush instead of my normal toothbrush?

No.  These small brushes should be used as part of your normal oral hygiene routine to be effective.


Why is my normal toothbrush not enough? 

You will know that there are certain places in your mouth that are difficult to reach with your normal brush.  There are also some gaps between your teeth that your toothbrush will not be able to access.


How can the interdental brush help?

With its small filaments and tiny bottle type head, the brush can be moved between the teeth to remove debris and plaque that will not have been removed by your usual toothbrush. They are available in two textures, original and Soft giving an effective option for even the most sensitive gums and teeth.


How do I use it?

Select a suitable sized interdental brush. Never force the brush between the teeth. Between front teeth, use a finer brush, turning slightly to ease the brush comfortably between the teeth.  Remove the brush by gently pulling thereby removing plaque and debris.  Repeat the turning motion to re-insert and pull out several times until you are satisfied the space is clean.  For larger spaces nearer the back of the mouth, a larger headed brush might be needed.  To be as effective as possible, shape the head into a slight curve DO NOT bend at right angles.  You will then be able to easily locate and clean the space effectively.  Always rinse brush in clean water during and after use.


When should I use it?

You need to clean between all your teeth at least once a day.


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