How to maintain good oral health with interdental brushes: an in-depth guide into primary prophylaxis.
For years, interdental brushing has been considered a means of secondary prophylaxis in patients with a certain gum disease, in order to minimise and reverse its effects. Such brushes used to be too thick for healthy gums, so they would only fit large interdental spaces.
However, the current advances in interdental technology have allowed us to make these brushes much thinner, thus making them suitable for use with healthy gums as a way to prevent certain types of gum disease (rather than a cure, after the damage has already been done). In this guide, we will walk you through everything to do with interdental brushes: what they do, and how they protect your teeth and gums.
What is interdental brushing?
Between every two teeth in anyone’s mouth, there is an interdental space. It can be very small, or it can be easily visible, but it’s always there. Teeth are never perfectly straight; they are wider in the crown and thinner in the neck, so there is always some space between two touching teeth.
Because the interdental space is inaccessible for a toothbrush, you can’t reach it with conventional brushing. As a result, bacteria accumulate in the interdental space and can remain undisturbed for a long time. Bacteria create toxic waste that weakens the enamel and irritates the gums, consequently causing tooth decay and periodontal disease. There is also a smell, which comes as a result of bacteria living and breeding between the teeth.
To prevent these effects, we need to physically disrupt the bacterial colonies accumulating between our teeth. And for that, we need:
- a special kind of brush small enough to fit between our teeth,
- soft enough to not damage the enamel and the gums,
- but effective enough to clean out all bacterial residue with an in-and-out motion.
This is where an interdental brush comes in: the Curaprox CPS prime is a specially designed brush that accounts for all these requirements:
- Ultra-thin stems to fit into interdental spaces
- High-density soft bristles for efficient cleaning
- Replaceable heads
- Ergonomic handle
- A click-on system for easy replacement
Why not just use floss?
Floss was revolutionary for its time, and then interdentals took over.
A string of floss is great for fitting between the teeth (namely front teeth) and being able to scrub off some of the bacterial film from the interdental space. However, floss could never reach into every nook and cranny of the interdental space. As a string, it can only clean the surfaces that have a regular shape. Irregular surfaces and interdental pockets (like back teeth) are still unreachable by floss.
When to use the interdentals
Interdentals are suitable for all people. It should become your primary aid of prophylaxis, because interdentals address areas that are inaccessible with regular brushing. We recommend the following brushing routine:
- Clean your interdental spaces once a day, before going to bed
- Cover all interdental spaces on both jaws
- For each interdental space, gently push the brush into the space and pull it out. In and out, and proceed to the next interdental space
If you have never used an interdental brush, you might experience gum bleeding. Bleeding is a symptom of on-going gum inflammation, which can be reduced with proper usage of interdentals. You can see the reduction in bleeding already after 3-7 days of interdental brushing.
What is important in an interdental brush?
Size. Interdental brushes need to be fitted according to the sizes of your interdental spaces. It is recommended to have your interdental spaces measured by a healthcare professional to know your exact sizes. You will get a sizing chart that will indicate every interdental space with proper sizes for the brushes you require.
Softness and efficiency. The bristles on the brush need to be soft so that they don’t damage your teeth and don’t irritate your gums.
Maintenance and replaceability. Some interdental brushes come with a single-use handle. At Curaprox, we prefer to minimise plastic waste and use a detachable system, which is better for the environment and is more cost-effective in the long run.
The detachable brush head can be replaced when needed. When the head is properly installed, you’ll hear a pleasant click.
Getting started with interdentals
Interdental brushing is beneficial to all people, regardless of their current dental conditions. So it is a good idea to start now.
Here is what to do:
- Schedule an appointment with your dentist to have your teeth checked and your intеrdental space measured.
- Pick up the interdental brushes that match your sizing. With Curaprox, you can order online.
- Start cleaning your interdental spaces every day as part of your morning or evening ritual.
Curaprox CPS prime
- Efficient cleaning, long-lasting results
- Cural® stem with a flexible surgical wire for easy and effective application
- Better for the environment: a clip-on brush head and specialised multi-use handles