Most people know the benefits of daily brushing. Still, many don’t understand why interdental cleaners, such as floss or an interdental brush, are necessary. In a survey shared by the American Dental Association, the respondents admitted using unusual items, including folded paper, fingernails, strands of hair, and safety pins, to remove food debris stuck between their teeth.
However, using these items can do more harm than good—damaging your gums and increasing the spread of bacteria in your mouth. Why don’t people choose to use interdental cleaners instead? One reason is that they may have fallen prey to myths and misinformation about interdental brushes.
Is an interdental brush good or bad for you? Let’s talk about it. This article will discuss some of the common misconceptions people have about interdental brushes and the proven benefits of using them.
Common Myths and Misconceptions About Interdental Brushes: Are They True or False?
Can an interdental brush cause permanent bleeding?
When you first start using an interdental brush, your gums may bleed a little. If this happens, this is typically a sign that you may already have a mild form of gum disease.
However, this is only a temporary issue. If you continue using your interdental brush before or after brushing, the bleeding will likely diminish as soon as your gums start getting healthier. Reach out to your dentist if the bleeding persists.
Can an interdental brush damage your gums?
Compared to standard string dental floss, an interdental brush is less likely to cut into your gums and damage them. And although these dental brushes are less aggressive on sensitive gums, they do not sacrifice the thorough cleaning you need.
A National Institutes of Health study found that interdental brushes were more effective at reducing bleeding gums than dental floss. The same study found a significant reduction in plaque for those who used interdental brushes compared to those who used string floss. This data proves that if you are worried about damaging your gums, using an interdental brush can be safer.
Can an interdental brush cause gaps or “black triangles” between your teeth?
According to Healthline, “black triangles” or gingival embrasures can form between your teeth for various reasons, including gum disease, bone loss, or poor dental hygiene habits. Using an interdental brush that is too big for the space between your teeth or simply brushing too harshly can cause these unsightly gaps to form.
However, this issue can be avoided by using an interdental brush that is the right fit for your teeth. Make sure to consult your dentist about what brush size to use. They can measure the spaces between your teeth and guide you on how to brush correctly.
Proven Benefits of Using an Interdental Brush
Now that we’ve tackled the different misconceptions about interdental brushes, let’s talk about the advantages of using them.
An interdental brush is essential for cleaning tight spaces that a toothbrush alone can’t reach.
You may be asking yourself, “Why should I use an interdental brush? Why isn’t brushing my teeth enough?” The truth is, a regular toothbrush can’t clean all the areas of your mouth.
According to the ADA, using interdental cleaners, such as a string floss or an interdental brush, is an essential oral hygiene practice. In between the tight spaces of your teeth, food debris can easily get trapped and become plaque. The bristles of a regular toothbrush cannot effectively and thoroughly reach those narrow spaces, which is why an interdental brush is necessary.
Using an interdental brush can help prevent gum disease and other oral infections.
A regular toothbrush is not enough to clean the plaque that has accumulated between teeth thoroughly. If left untreated, the plaque can harden into tartar, making brushing even harder and causing gum tissue to bleed or swell. An interdental brush can be the perfect tool to prevent gum disease and tooth decay caused by plaque.
According to one research, using an interdental brush alongside brushing resulted in higher plaque removal than brushing alone, leading to better periodontal health. It was also found to be more effective at removing plaque than using string floss.
Using an interdental brush can be easier than flossing.
Many people find it challenging to floss their teeth properly and end up neglecting areas of their mouth or injuring their gums. One advantage of using an interdental brush is that it is proven to be easier than flossing.
An NIH study found that interdental brushes are more effective at reducing plaque and gingivitis compared to other interdental cleaning methods. Practicing the correct flossing techniques was difficult for many to achieve and did not substantially reduce gum inflammation. The ease of use provided by interdental brushes resulted in much higher patient compliance and better plaque removal scores.
Is an Interdental Brush Good or Bad for You?
Now that you’re aware of the misconceptions and facts about interdental brushes, it’s time to make a decision: will an interdental cleaner be a good fit for you? The answer will depend on your specific oral health needs. Make sure to consult your dentist for more guidance on the matter.
If your dentist recommends using interdental brushes, remember to choose high-quality products from trusted brands, such as PRO-SYS. Start taking charge of your oral health today!