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Interdental Cleaning Devices

Updated: Mar 2

“Daily flossing is the best way to prevent gum disease and cavities”, is good advice that any dental hygienist or dentist will give to their patients. However, there is more to know about interdental cleaning than just using floss once a day.


String flossing is the most common type of interdental cleaner. It involves passing the string between the teeth to remove plaque and food debris. If done properly the floss can reach 3mm below the gumline to remove harmful bacteria, making it the preferred method of interdental cleaning by dental professionals. This method unfortunately is not good for everyone for many different reasons. Examples include, poor dexterity or simply not being able to reach the back teeth. If unable to use floss a variety of other interdental cleaners are available. The key is to find which one suits you best and keeps you motivated.


A normal toothbrush can’t reach areas between the teeth but an interdental cleaner can. If you are brushing but not using an interdental cleaner you are actually missing 30% of the tooth surface.


Interdental brushes are small brushes specifically meant for cleaning between the teeth. They are often round or cone-shaped with bristles that are attached to a skinny wire and have an easy grip handle at the other end. Some designs are short handled or long like a toothbrush. These can be particularly helpful for reaching areas that are tough even for string floss to get, such as the back teeth. Most interdental brushes can be used several times before discarding. Regardless of the area, many people find interdental brushes easier and more pleasant to use than string floss. Interdental brushes come in different sizes, materials and shapes to best suit your needs.


Interdental brushes are great for patients with limited dexterity, like those suffering joint issues. Patients with braces find interdental brushes easier to maneuver around the metal wiring. Those with larger gaps between their teeth may find interdental brushes more efficient at removing plaque and food debris between their teeth. Many find interdental brushes easier to use than mastering the proper flossing technique.


In addition to interdental brushes, are water flossers. Water flossers use a jet of water to remove plaque and food debris from around and in between your teeth. Similar to floss, water flossers are proven to be effective in removing harmful bacteria under the gums. Water flossers come with customizable tips for different oral inserts such as braces, crowns, bridges and implants.


Whichever interdental device you decide is best for you, consistency is key. How often you do it plays a big role in the health of your gums and teeth. It is recommended to clean interdentally once a day, preferably before bed. It is best to choose a method that is comfortable and effective for you. This will allow you to be more consistent with your oral hygiene habits. At Clinique Dentaire WM Dorval your dental hygienist or dentist will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding your product of choice.

Resources

https://www.bearcreekdental.ca/articles/dear_doctor/509291-interdental-cleaning-devices

https://www.waterpik.com/oral-health/edu/flossing/water-floss-vs-string-floss-vs-interdental-brushes/

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/selecting-dental-products/is-flossing-hard-interdental-brushes-may-be-the-answer


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