Many companies make a variety of different sizes and types of interdental toothbrushes. These specially designed toothbrushes are used to clean between teeth where traditional toothbrushes cannot reach. Certain interdental toothbrush models can take the place of regular flossing. These small brushes are also referred to as proxy brushes or interproximal brushes. They can help prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and eliminate stains including coffee and tobacco stains between teeth.
An interdental toothbrush operates in much the same fashion as a traditional toothbrushe. Gently moving these brushes back and forth between teeth helps remove debris and plaque. They can efficiently clean around braces, other dental appliances, and implants without damaging any material in the process.
Bigger brush models are perfect for cleaning between teeth with larger gaps between them. Smaller interdental toothbrushes are used to clean between teeth with smaller gaps. These small models can be used for applications where dental floss does not easily fit between certain teeth. Tapered models are versatile and can be used to clean between teeth with large or small gaps. Interdental toothbrushes with soft filaments are designed for those with inflamed or sensitive gums.
Many of these brushes feature a plastic coated wire to hold the bristles. These wires are stiff enough to resist any bending and buckling that may occur while in use. They must also offer some level of flexibility however, to gain access into any awkward gaps.
Interdental toothbrushes are available in a variety of sizes and shapes, making them ideal for most in-between teeth cleaning applications. A person without good finger mobility may benefit from using a proxy brush that features an easy-to-grip, large handle. Certain models are engineered with adjustable heads, allowing these brushes to access the most difficult-to-reach areas in between teeth.
Many of the interdental toothbrushes available are reusable but cheap enough to discard after a period of regular use. An interdental toothbrush needs to be thoroughly rinsed with clean water after each use to discourage bacteria growth within the bristles of the brush. When the filaments on these brushes become too worn, the brush should be changed or discarded.
A person should contact his or her dentist for advice on choosing the proper interdental toothbrush. These devices should never be forced into a space between teeth. If a brush will not progress between a tooth with only mild pressure, a smaller proxy brush should be used.