Brushing teeth is part of the daily routine and is the basis of good oral hygiene. But a normal toothbrush can not reach and clean all areas and areas in the oral cavity. These hard-to-reach areas mainly include the interdental spaces. Here, leftovers and bacteria can settle undisturbed and lead to plaque, tartar, tooth decay and inflammation. Especially patients for people with dentures such as bridges or implants or with inflammation of the periodontium ( periodontitis ) is relevant.

For this reason, special small brushes in different sizes have been developed to sufficiently clean the interdental spaces (= interdental spaces).

Who needs interdental brushes?

Originally, interstitial toothbrushes were developed primarily for the purpose of cleaning bridges or other prosthetic restorations in order to clean them under and between dentures.

Many people suffer from periodontitis, ie inflammation of the dental bed / periodontium. Often you can then observe a decline in the gums. In this case, interdental brushes facilitate the cleaning enormously, since many places can hardly be reached with the normal toothbrush.

The brushes should therefore be integrated into the daily oral hygiene, even if they are particularly suitable for bridges, implants, crowns or other prosthetic restorations.

By daily additional cleaning of the interdental spaces one can prevent plaque, tooth decay and inflammation in the mouth or even halitosis.

The brush should fit with moderate pressure, but also with appreciable resistance through the interdental space.

How do you use interdental brushes?

Proper use of toothbrushes for interdental spaces is very important. Above all, it is necessary to take the time to clean the interstices thoroughly and carefully so as not to injure the gums. The brush is inserted perpendicular to the interdental space with moderate pressure and resistance. The application must not hurt a lot. This would be an indication of the need for a smaller size. Bleeding gums is no indication to stop the application. On the contrary, it is a sign of inflammation of the gums, which may be prevented in the future by the application of the interdental brushes. The brush should be moved about 3 to 4 times in the interdental space. Intermediate rinsing with water allows the pads just removed to be washed out of the brush and not subsequently transported to the next interdental space. Furthermore, the immersion in a disinfecting solution such as a mouthwash with, for example, chlorhexidine as an ingredient is also suitable.

It is very important that the brushes are used without toothpaste, as in every toothpaste there are abrasive particles which, when used constantly, can have an abrasive effect on the tooth enamel.

Which products are there?

As with many dental products, there are also different products in the interdental brushes. There are many different suppliers of interdental brushes, including Elmex® or Oral B®. The market leaders include the manufacturers Curaprox® and Tepe®. However, every drugstore also has its own and cheaper brand on offer. Curaprox® is available only at pharmacies, while Tepe® is found in every drugstore.

There are brushes with a long or short handle. Especially the products with a long handle are suitable for the back areas of the row of teeth. It must be individually determined which brush and which brush thickness / thickness is suitable for yourself. It helps a dentist.

The interdental brushes are color-coded by thickness, but some brands have deviations from this standard.

What side effects / risks exist?

In general, interdental brushes involve very few risks or side effects in their application. Nevertheless, incorrect use of the brushes can lead to consequential damage. In this framework, the size of the interdental brush must be correct for each corresponding interdental space. Each interdental space has its own size. Therefore, one must often apply several different sizes of brushes. On average, these are two sizes that every human needs.

If the brush, which is made of a wire in the middle, is too wide, the wire will rub against the tooth enamel in the interdental space. This leads to damage to the hard tooth substance and may further lead to a withdrawal of the gums at the affected site. The brush should be inserted with moderate pressure and provide some resistance when passing through the interdental space.

Furthermore, there is the risk of a puncture in the gum during use. Particularly in the molar region, the application of the brushes and reaching the rear of the mouth are not easy. Restricted motor skills or dexterity in older people also present a difficulty in not injuring themselves. A sting with the wire in the gum is not bad. It bleeds for a short time, is uncomfortable and should therefore be avoided.

You might also be interested in: Bleeding gums

Combination with the electric toothbrush

In addition to the typical small, manually applied interdental brushes, there are also advertised as electric interdental brush products on the market. There are no pure electric interdental space brushes. The manufacturers of electric toothbrushes often advertise the ability of this to be able to clean the interdental spaces. However, an electric toothbrush can not completely replace the function of a toothbrush. In some cases there are additional interdental attachments to flush them through. An electric interdental brush generally has no advantages over the manual brushes because the latter is only passed 2-3 times through the interdental space. Furthermore, you can adjust the manual brushes arbitrarily and adapt to the interdental space. In summary, it can be said that the advertised as electric interdental brushes products can show no advantages over the manual brush.

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