Last updated: August 23, 2021

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If you wear fixed braces, have dentures or are looking for a tool that will further improve your oral hygiene, welcome to ReviewBox! In today's article, we're going to talk about the interdental brush.

Ideal for cleaning narrow cavities and ensuring the complete removal of food and bacteria, the interdental brush is an item that can and should be used by everyone. Below, we'll show you how it works and which are the best brands.




The most important

  • The interdental brush is indicated for cleaning and removing food debris that gets stuck between the teeth.
  • It should be used in conjunction with the toothbrush and floss.
  • To make sure you're buying the best interdental brush, you need to consider its shape, thickness and softness.

The Best Interdental Brushes: Our picks

Buying Guide

Although it may seem like a novelty, the interdental brush is increasingly becoming part of the oral hygiene routine. To answer all your questions about this item, we've created this Buying Guide.

Below, you'll find out how the interdental brush works, who should have one and how to ensure its correct use.

Menina usando escova interdental para limpar aparelho fixo.

The interdental brush is essential for those who wear braces. (Source: Shao-Chun Wang/ 123rf.com)

What is an interdental brush?

Toothbrush, toothpaste and floss are essential items for maintaining good oral health. But there are people who need to take extra care of their dental health, and for this, it's necessary to use specific items, such as the interdental brush.

The interdental brush is a small brush made for cleaning plaque, food debris and bacteria that accumulate between teeth.

Thus, the interdental brush acts to prevent inflammation of the gums and the formation of cavities, among other problems.

Mulher escovando os dentes.

The interdental brush assists and complements the cleaning performed by the traditional toothbrush. (Source: slavoljubovski/ Pixabay.com)

In general, the interdental brush has a long, ergonomic handle and a metal filament, forming a sharp point that is surrounded by bristles.

This allows you to brush the narrower, less accessible areas of the dental arch, ensuring a more effective clean than if you just used a traditional toothbrush.

What are the benefits of using the interdental brush?

The interdental brush enhances the work of the traditional toothbrush. That's because the interdental brush reaches into tough spots when brushing, removing food debris and bacteria.

In other words, the interdental brush acts as an auxiliary to the traditional toothbrush, improving the cleaning and oral hygiene.

So much so that the interdental brush is ideal for cleaning the spaces between the teeth and gums, places that, without frequent and correct cleaning, can accumulate dirt and create bacterial plaque.

By using an interdental brush you'll be free from diseases such as tooth decay, gingivitis, periodontitis and even bad breath.

But one of the disadvantages of the interdental brush is that it's often a pricey item.

And depending on the brand, it's also possible that the interdental brush has a short lifespan.

Often you'll find testimonials from users who complain that some models bend easily.

To summarize the pros and cons of the interdental brush, we prepared the following table.

Advantages
  • Improves oral hygiene
  • Removes food debris and bacteria from dental cavities and gums
  • Prevents oral problems and dental diseases
Disadvantages
  • High price
  • Durability may be low
  • Can bend

What is the difference between an interdental brush, a toothbrush and dental floss?

The traditional toothbrush is designed to clean the surface of the teeth. But because of its anatomy, the bristles of the orthodontic brush do not reach into the most hidden and narrow spaces.

The interdental brush, on the other hand, has a shape that was designed precisely to reach those places, so you can insert it between one tooth and another for a more thorough cleaning.

But if the interdental brush cleans the space between the teeth, then it is correct to think that it can replace dental floss, right? Wrong.

Actually, the interdental brush should be used in conjunction with the toothbrush and floss.

This is because, as the shape and anatomy of the teeth are irregular, and vary from person to person, there are spaces in which the interdental brush cannot enter to perform the necessary cleaning.

Therefore, even if you use an interdental brush, it is also important to floss daily.

How to use the interdental brush?

To achieve the goal of deep cleaning, you need to use the interdental brush correctly. To do so, it should be inserted and removed only once in each space between your teeth.

However, you should not make back and forth movements, as this can hurt and cause problems with your gums.

But to help you with this step, we have listed below other important tips on how to use the interdental brush correctly. Take a look:

  • Insert the interdental brush into the space between two teeth at a 45-degree angle;
  • On the upper teeth, the tip of the brush should point upwards and on the lower teeth, downwards;
  • The movement should be gentle so as not to cause injury to the gums.

Experts also recommend that you should use the interdental brush at least once a day, and preferably at night, before bedtime.

Is the interdental brush disposable?

A traditional toothbrush needs to be changed every three months or even sooner, depending on the condition of your oral health or even if you consider colds and flu. The same goes for the interdental brush.

In addition, the life span of the interdental brush will also vary depending on how hard you use it and how often you brush.

The interdental brush generally needs to be changed every 3 days.

But in general, experts advise that the interdental brush generally needs to be changed every 3 days.

When in doubt, the important thing is to make sure that the bristles are in good condition and in their original shape.

If the bristles are too open, it is a sign that it is time to change for a new one.

Interdental Brush: For whom is it indicated?

The interdental brush is usually best suited for people who wear orthodontic appliances, have implants, crowns, fixed bridges or have larger gaps between teeth.

That's because, as we've seen, it makes it easier to clean between teeth and any other hard-to-reach places.

Still, the interdental brush can and should be used by everyone, including those who are not undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Do you wear fixed braces?

In this case, you should clean the brackets, band and wire with the interdental brush after each meal

Purchase Criteria: How to evaluate the best interdental brush

The first step for anyone who wants to start using an interdental brush is to seek the advice of a dentist. Only a dentist can accurately tell you the best size, diameter, shape and softness of the ideal interdental brush for you.

Then, you can start comparing the models available for sale.

To help you do this, we recommend that you consider the following criteria that differentiate one interdental brush from another:

Below, we will show you the best way to consider each of these aspects when buying the ideal interdental brush.

Types

The first factor that you should take into account when choosing the best interdental brush is the type. Here, you will find two options, which differ basically because of their shape: the conical and the cylindrical.

Check out the following, the main features of the two types of interdental brushes:

  • Conical: Conical interdental brushes are suitable for cleaning fixed appliances and larger spaces between teeth;
  • Cylindrical: This type of interdental brush is recommended for cleaning any space where the dental floss is loosely fitting.

Size and thickness

Next, we suggest that you also check the size of the interdental brush. In this case, we are specifically dealing with the diameter of the tips with the bristles.

After all, it is this part that will act in cleaning either the cavities between the teeth or the fixed appliance.

Generally, you will find interdental brush models whose diameter varies between 0.4 mm and 1.3 mm. To make the right choice, you should follow your dentist's advice.

Mulher escovando os dentes.

As with the toothbrush, it is necessary to choose the best bristle thickness for the interdental brush. (Source: National Cancer Institute/ Unsplash.com)

This is because the anatomy of each person's dental arch needs to be analysed individually so that the size of the interdental brush is chosen efficiently and avoids hurting the gums.

However, in general, people who have their teeth further apart are better suited to an interdental brush with bulkier bristles, as bristles that are too thin will not be able to clean the gaps properly.

On the other hand, if you have teeth that are too close together, with little space between them, the interdental brush with thinner bristles will be ideal for reaching the narrower spaces.

Softness

In addition to the thickness of the bristles, it is also important to check the softness of the bristles of your interdental brush.

In this case, it is almost unanimously recommended that, whenever possible, you should choose a model with soft bristles.

Extras and refills

Before buying your interdental brush be sure to also take into account a few extra elements.

For example, some manufacturers offer protective caps, which also improve the grip.

In other cases it is possible to buy the refill, which means you only need to buy the brush handle once. This way, you get refills as and when you need to change them. Please note that some packages offer up to 10 refills.

Brands

Another important aspect to consider is the brand of the interdental brush. In the market there are several quality interdental brushes, both national and imported.

Choose brands that have expertise and tradition in the manufacturing of oral hygiene items, among them we highlight Colgate, Bitufo, Oral-B, Dental Clean and Curaprox.

(Source of the highlighted image: Murali Nath/ 123rf.com)

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