Family dental care involves more than just cleaning teeth – it includes helping patients make good choices for dental care in between visits. Part of this is advising patients on how to best clean their teeth at home.
Our Cranberry Hill Dentistry website includes many helpful articles to assist our patients in making the right choices for their teeth cleaning. If you’re interested, see our blogs Choosing the Right Toothbrush – are electric toothbrushes better, Everything You Need to Know About Flossing and There’s No Magic in Toothpaste.
In this article, we’ll be discussing the pros and cons of using interdental brushes vs. floss to clean between your teeth.
The Importance of Daily Brushing and Flossing in Family Dental Care
We’ll start off by saying whether you choose interdental brushes or floss, the key is to properly clean your teeth using the right brushing and flossing techniques. Your toothbrush cannot reach in between your teeth, so if you don’t floss, you are missing out on cleaning more than one-third of your tooth surface.
Proper brushing and flossing help prevent plaque buildup on your teeth. As you eat or drink foods with sugars or starch, the bacteria in your mouth release acids that form plaque. Within a day or more, this plaque hardens into tartar, which cannot be removed by brushing alone.
This buildup of plaque can also lead to tooth decay, cavities and gum disease.
So, when it comes to cleaning your teeth, our advice is the same as Nike…just do it.
What is an Interdental Brush?
An interdental brush is like a mini toothbrush that fits in the space between your teeth. It typically consists of a plastic handle with replaceable brushes. Interdental brushes come in different widths to fit the gaps between your teeth.
At Cranberry Hill Dentistry, we provide complete family dental care, including orthodontics. We regularly recommend interdental brushes for our patients with traditional metal or ceramic braces, as the wires in these braces prevent them from flossing.
But interdental brushes can be a good choice for many of our patients – not just the ones with braces.
Pros and Cons of Interdental Brushes vs Floss
The main pro of an interdental brush is that some find them easier to use than floss. Easier to use means more likely to use it – and that means you’re brushing out that plaque between your teeth every day.
Interdental brushes PROS vs. floss
- Much easier to use – interdental brushes are ideal for patients with mobility issues or patients who simply don’t like to floss.
- As good or better than floss – there is some research showing interdental brushes clean between the teeth better than floss.
- Good for people with braces or larger gaps between their teeth – interdental brushes are wider than floss, meaning they could be better at cleaning wider gaps between teeth. If you have braces, you can’t use regular floss. Interdental brushes can get between your teeth and even between the wires on your braces to brush away that plaque.
- Reusable – brush heads can be re-used a few times.
Interdental brushes CONS vs. floss
- Can be more expensive than floss – the cost of interdental brushes can be slightly more than floss.
- Hard to fit in tight spaces – floss is easier to use in tight spaces between your teeth.
- Come in different widths – you may need more than brush size depending on the size of the gaps between your teeth.
- May cause gum bleeding – if you use the wrong size of brush, interdental brushes can irritate your gums and even cause gum bleeding.
Whether you use floss or interdental brushes, the Canadian Dental Association recommends you only clean between your teeth once per day. You may experience some minor gum bleeding when you first start to use an interdental brush. If that doesn’t go away after a few days, contact your dentist.
Choose Cranberry Hill Dentistry For Professional Family Dental Care in Waterdown
Your Waterdown Dentist, Dr. Aaron Langdon and his team are ready to welcome you to Cranberry Hill Dentistry in Waterdown. We provide complete family dental care including regular checkups and cleaning, cosmetic dentistry like teeth whitening and dental implants, and orthodontic services like braces and Invisalign teeth aligners.
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