Interdental brushes are great tools to clean the interdental space between your teeth down on the gumline. When you start using interdental brushes, your gums may bleed a little. However, after a couple of times this shouldn´t be the case anymore.
It is vital to choose the right sized interdental brush, according to how wide the interdental space between your teeth is. This is very individual. I use two different sized interdental brushes, a thicker one for the molars and a thinner one for the rest of the interdental spaces, between front teeth and the incisors. There are various sizes for interdental brushes, usually ranging from 0.4 to 1.5 mm.
There are various types of interdental brushes on the market. A discussion of the pros and cons of each one would go beyond the purpose of this blog post. Importantly, there is good scientific evidence that using interdental brushes in combination with toothbrushing and dental flossing can reduce the formation of plaque and in turn gingivitis and dental caries.
I want to encourage you to watch some videos on how to use interdental brushes, for example here. Watching is so much better to understand the details of a proper interdental brushing technique than only reading!
Some general tips on interdental brushing technique
Especially at the beginning you might have difficulties entering the interdental space between your teeth. Often the interdental space is blocked by plaque. Therefore, try to use small sized interdental brushes at the beginning. After using them for a couple of times, you might need to use a larger one to properly clean your interdental spaces.
For the front teeth use a straight interdental brush. It might be good to bend the interdental brush a bit towards a banana form before using it, especially for the molars.
Try to insert the interdental brush gently. Don´t try to force the interdental brush inside the interdental space with too much strength. As for dental flossing, keep regular patterns when interdental brushing.
- Insert the interdental brush gently.
- Move the interdental brush gently back and forth for 3 to 6 times.
- Repeat for each interdental space between your teeth.