Why Do Dentists Recommend Interdental Brushes?

An interdental brush can help you maintain good oral hygiene.

Did you know orthodontic treatment plays a vital role in maintaining good oral health? Addressing misaligned teeth and jaw irregularities helps to improve not only the appearance of your smile but also the overall functionality of the mouth.

Which do you think it’s easier to clean: straight teeth or crooked teeth? Properly aligned teeth are easier to clean, reducing the risk of oral health issues such as cavities and gum disease.

Through orthodontic treatment, teeth can be repositioned to create better alignment, which facilitates more effective brushing and flossing. When teeth are overcrowded or crooked, it becomes difficult to remove plaque and food particles from hard-to-reach areas.

That fact increases the likelihood of cavities and other dental problems. It’s simple – By straightening the teeth, orthodontics allows for improved oral hygiene and better access to brushing and flossing.

Becoming a patient with orthodontic braces or clear aligners might bring challenges to your dental hygiene routine and health. Nevertheless, there are lots of techniques and tools to enhance oral hygiene.

Patients must maintain regular dental check-ups, adopt healthy oral care habits, and receive guidance on proper cleaning techniques throughout the treatment. This comprehensive approach to oral hygiene helps prevent decay, gum inflammation, and other health complications.

Orthodontic treatment offers numerous benefits beyond aesthetic improvements. It comes with some challenges and patient compliance requirements, but it’s nothing an interdental brush can solve.

Oral Health Issues

Tooth decay is the primary cause of dental cavities. The process is highly interesting and visual, but because it happens slowly and progressively, we cannot notice the problem until it is serious.

When we consume sugary or starchy foods, the bacteria present in our mouths feed on these particles and produce acids as a byproduct. These acids, along with the bacteria, form a sticky film called dental plaque that adheres to the teeth.

Over time, if dental plaque is not effectively removed through regular brushing and flossing, the acids produced by the bacteria begin to erode the protective enamel covering the teeth. This process is what weakens the enamel and creates small openings or holes that experts call cavities.

On the other hand, dental plaque also plays a significant role in the development of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease.

When dental plaque accumulates along the gumline, it releases toxins that irritate and inflame the gums. This early stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, causes redness, swelling, and bleeding gums.

When left untreated, the plaque buildup hardens and forms tartar or dental calculus, which you will not be able to remove with regular brushing. Tartar buildup. Tartar buildup further irritates the gums, causing them to pull away from the teeth and creating dental pockets where more plaque and bacteria can accumulate.

This advanced stage of gum disease, periodontitis, can lead to gum recession, bone loss, and tooth loss.

Preventing tooth decay and gum disease involves thorough oral hygiene practices and regular visits to the dental office, whether you have traditional braces or not.

How Does Orthodontics Help Prevent Oral Health Issues?

The answer is not a big mystery, nor does it have a complex explanation. One way orthodontics helps prevent oral health issues is through the alignment of teeth.

Dental irregularities can create tight spaces and overcrowding, making it challenging to clean all tooth surfaces effectively. This can lead to the buildup of plaque that we mentioned before, increasing the risk of tooth decay.

A straight smile makes it easier to brush and floss thoroughly, ensuring that you can effectively remove plaque and thus reduce the likelihood of cavities.

As a patient under orthodontic treatment, you will have to adopt meticulous oral hygiene routines, including the use of specialized tools like interdental brushes or water flossers.

These techniques help remove plaque and food that can accumulate around orthodontic appliances, reducing the risk of tooth decay and gum inflammation.

Of course, orthodontic treatment also contributes to the prevention of gum disease. When you have crowded teeth or crooked teeth, it can lead to improper biting and chewing forces, causing stress on the gums and supporting tissues.

This can result in gum recession, inflammation, and an increased susceptibility to gum disease. Orthodontic treatment helps distribute forces evenly, reducing the strain on the gums and minimizing the risk of gum disease development.

What Is an Interdental Brush?

We read it above: patients with orthodontic appliances may require the use of special tools to achieve proper dental hygiene, especially patients with different types of orthodontic braces.

Interdental brushes are phenomenal for patients with braces. An interdental brush is a small dental tool designed to clean the spaces between teeth, known as interdental spaces or gaps.

The tool consists of a handle and a small bristled head, similar to a miniature bottle brush. They (interdental brushes) come in various sizes to accommodate different gap sizes between teeth.

The purpose of an interdental brush is to effectively remove plaque, food particles, and debris from areas that regular toothbrushes may not reach. You can pass an interdental brush under the archwires and around each bracket.

Since braces or other orthodontic appliances can create spaces for food to get stuck, interdental brushes are of great help.

Choosing the appropriate size and having a delicate technique while brushing is important.

How to Use an Interdental Brush?

Using an interdental brush is a simple and effective way to clean the spacer between your teeth and brackets. The tool may be new to you, but the procedure is not.

Choose the Right Size:

Select an interdental brush size that fits comfortably into the gaps between your teeth. It should fit snugly but not be too tight or cause discomfort.

Prepare the Brush:

Gently bend the neck of the interdental brush if needed to adjust the angle for better access to the spaces between your teeth.

Insert the Brush:

Hold the interdental brush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line. Gently insert the brush into the interdental space using a back-and-forth or up-and-down motion. Be careful not to force the brush into the gap, as it may cause gum irritation.

Clean the Space:

Move the brush back and forth several times to effectively clean the sides of the teeth and remove plaque and debris. Pay attention to each interdental space, moving from one gap to another.

Rinse and Repeat:

After cleaning one interdental space, rinse the brush under running water to remove any collected debris. If needed, you can apply a small amount of toothpaste or antibacterial mouthwash to the brush for extra cleaning benefits. Repeat the process for each interdental space, using a fresh section of the brush if necessary.

Clean the Brush:

This is paramount. Rinse the interdental brush thoroughly after each use and allow it to air dry. Store it in a clean and dry place until the next use.

Use as Part of Your Oral Hygiene Routine:

Incorporate interdental brushing into your daily oral care routine, ideally after brushing your teeth. It is recommended to use these special brushes at least once a day, but the frequency may vary depending on your specific oral health needs and the recommendation of your dentist.

Are Interdental Brushes Better Than Floss?

Interdental brushes are an effective alternative to conventional dental floss and offer several advantages that make them a preferred choice for many individuals.

Better Plaque Removal

Interdental brushes have small bristled heads that can access a larger surface area compared to traditional dental floss. The bristles of the brush effectively remove food particles and oral bacteria.

Easier to Use

It’s no lie that using dental floss can be tricky for patients with metal braces. Interdental brushes are generally easier to maneuver than floss.

The handle of the brush provides a comfortable grip, making it easier to move around the brackets and the metal archwire.

Ideal for Larger Gaps

This type of brush is particularly useful for individuals with larger interdental gaps or spaces. Flossing may be less effective in these cases, as it may struggle to clean wider gaps properly.

The bristles of the interdental brush can effectively clean these spaces more thoroughly.

Reusable and Durable

Interdental brushes are typically reusable and durable, making them a cost-effective option (and more bio-friendly!) in the long run. They can be easily rinsed, cleaned, and air-dried for repeated use.

Orthodontics Keizer, OR

McDonald Orthodontics is a dental home that welcomes the whole family. You and your children can have access to the best dental and orthodontic treatments here.

Invisalign (Keizer), (Keizer) clear braces, of course, traditional braces too. A wide range of services for dental patients in the city of Keizer. 

We like to work with traditional methods and expand to new technologies and techniques. Because we attend to a wide range of ages, we must keep updated and know what’s best for each case.

Set an appointment and meet Dr. McDonald and his amazing team; your smile awaits!