Are Interdental Brushes Better Than Floss?

Teeth brushing alone cleans 60% of your tooth surfaces. Adding a flossing routine or using interdental brushes in addition to regular teeth brushing will help you better take care of your teeth and oral health in general.

What Is an Interdental Brush?

“Interdental” means between the teeth. An interdental brush is designed to help you clean the sides of your teeth and between your teeth no matter how tight or wide the space. The bristles on an interdental brush are held on by wire and shaped somewhat like those on a mascara wand. The wire is attached to a handle that looks like a toothbrush handle but is often shorter. Brushes come in different bristle and wire sizes according to what size teeth gap they fit, and some are specially designed to use with orthodontic braces.

To use an interdental brush, you insert the brush gently between two teeth and softly move the brush back and forth to remove any food particles and bacteria that can cause plaque and tartar.

Interdental Brushes vs. Dental Floss

Choosing either interdental brushes or dental floss is in many cases a personal preference. Both help reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. There are some advantages to each, though, that may sway your opinion one way or another.

Interdental brushes are:
• More effective at removing food particles and bacteria from between teeth
• Easier to use, especially for people with limited hand and finger dexterity
• Effective for navigating between braces and wires
• More expensive than floss

Dental floss is:
• Less expensive
• Good for fitting very tight spaces, but also can tear coming out of tight spaces
• Time-consuming to clean every tooth correctly
• More difficult to use to clean teeth with braces

If you don’t like flossing, try an interdental brush. The bottom line is everyone should be doing some sort of interdental cleaning beyond just brushing their teeth. You have options and DenTek® can help. We have a range of interdental brushes sized to fit different size gaps between teeth and products that are made for people with braces.