Cleaning Between Your Teeth
Did you know that brushing alone only removes about 60% of the plaque on your teeth? The rest of the plaque is found BETWEEN your teeth. Dental plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on your teeth. It must be removed regularly, or it can cause gum inflammation, cavities, and bad breath.
Your toothbrush only cleans 3 of the 5 surfaces on your teeth, leaving 2 surfaces between the teeth ignored. Cleaning between the teeth, also known as interdental cleaning, is important because it cleans where a regular toothbrush simply cannot reach.
Cleaning between your teeth helps prevent gum disease and cavities.
According to research (Marchesan et al., 2018) there is less periodontal disease among those using interdental cleaning devices. Cleaning between the teeth 4-7 times per week yielded beneficial results.
Options to Clean Between the Teeth
There are many different options for cleaning between the teeth. The best interdental tool recommendation is related to your individualized needs. There is not one best approach for all people. Perhaps you may even use two methods as a complement to each other. Here are some different options to consider when choosing what will work best for you.
- Interdental brushes
- Water flosser irrigation devices
- Powered flossing
- Floss aids
- Rubber bristle brushes
- Gum massaging devices
Deciding Which Interdental Tool is Best for You
You should consider the following when deciding which interdental tool is best for you.
- Size of the spaces between your teeth
- Level of dexterity
- Technical difficulty of the task
- Ease of use of the device
- Your motivation
TePe Options for Cleaning Between the Teeth
TePe® Interdental Brush Original are small brushes specially designed to clean between your teeth, where a regular toothbrush does not reach. TePe has nine different size brushes to fit all varieties of spaces between teeth. Some examples of where to use an interdental brush could include between two natural teeth, around orthodontic appliances, under bridges, next to implants, and much more.
TePe EasyPick™ is an on-the-go silicone coated dental pick to clean between the teeth. It cleans efficiently and feels comfortable on the gums.
TePe GOOD Mini Flosser™ is a preloaded floss holder with a unique bite plane to gently insert the floss between teeth. It is made from bio-based plastic and wood fibers.
TePe® Bridge and Implant Floss is a spongy floss with two stiff plastic ends. This floss is ideal for daily cleaning of implants, bridges, and braces. It is also suitable for periodontal care.
TePe® Dental Tape is a wide, flat, and natural beeswax floss to glide easily between teeth without shredding.
Interdental Brushes are a Superior way to Clean Between Teeth
Many people think flossing is the best tool, but there are alternatives. Internal brushes have shown to be a superior method related to high plaque removal, reduction in gum inflammation, and are often easier to use. Unlike floss, the interdental brush can reach all the grooves between you teeth. In the illustration notice how the bristles reach all the curves of the tooth.
Here are practical reasons why you might choose an interdental brush:
- Easier to use, especially for people with limited hand and finger dexterity
- More compliant and may take less time
- Effective for getting under orthodontic wires and around braces
- Effective in hard-to-reach areas, for example under bridges or around implants
- Effective between two natural teeth, especially when there is bone loss, which often mean more grooves that the bristles of the interdental brush can get into
5 Simple Steps to Using Your Interdental Brush
Use once a day, preferably in the evening.
- To prevent your interdental brush from bending or distorting, either wiggle or do a quarter-turn when initially inserting between the teeth.
- Once under the contact, move the brush full length back and forth a couple of times in a horizontal motion.
- Rinse with water and let air dry.
- Replace once the bristles are worn and start to collapse.
Choosing the Correct Size
TePe Interdental brushes come in nine sizes, which might seem overwhelming at first. We recommend asking your dental professional to help you or to find your most suitable size yourself using a TePe® Interdental Brush Original Mixed Pack.
Start with a small brush size and change to a bigger one if you don’t feel any resistance from the bristles. Do not force the brush into a space; work it in gently or choose a smaller size. Often, you need more than one brush size, because the spaces between your teeth differ throughout your mouth.
Tips for using your interdental brush:
- The plastic-coated wire of the interdental brush should pass between the teeth without rubbing the sides of either adjacent tooth.
- The bristles should fit snugly in between the teeth.
- There will be some resistance from the bristles, but do not force a brush into a space.
- If you are evoking any signs of pain, size down to a smaller size.
- You can put the ventilated cap onto the handle for an extra extension in length.
- Avoid bending the wire at a 90-degree angle to the neck of the brush, instead gently curve the wire to increase the longevity.
Watch this video for more information on interdental brushes and how to use them!