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WHAT ARE THEY
Interdental brushes are used to help clean inbetween teeth, and small hard to reach places that your regular toothbrush can't reach, such as behind back teeth and under and between braces and other dental appliances. When used regularly, they are said to help keep teeth and gums healthy, protect against gum disease and tooth decay.
WHY DO I USE THEM
My personal use for interdental brushes is after having a lot of bouts of toothache, my dentist referred me to the hygienist to give me some tips on cleaning my teeth better. I used to floss, but some of my teeth are tight at the top so it's hard to get floss inbetween them without it fraying or not being able to slip between my teeth at all. I didn't know interdental brushes existed until the hygienist introduced them to me. I started using them as they fit easier between my teeth than dental floss as you just brush inbetween teeth at the gums and not brush down from the top of the teeth like floss.
I use .45mm as this is the size which was measured by my hygienist. They come in different sizes. To find the right interdental brush for your gap size, it may be best to ask your dentist, or you could try just buying the smaller size and if they don't work buying the size up etc, but this is a lot of messing about, your dentist would know which size would be best for you.
They are all colour coded according to the brush size. .45mm are always orange, no matter which brand you decide to buy.
WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE
These brushes, just like all other brands I have used, are 1cm long. The bristles are nylon, and the centre of the brush is wire, which makes it easy for you to bend to be able to reach behind back teeth. The brushes have an orange handle, about 1.5 inches long, which is a good size to hold whilst cleaning your teeth. The handles make these less likely to slip out of your hand than they would if it was just a small wire. The handles are made of plastic, and are usually the part of the brushes which are colour coded according to the brush size, in this case orange, as explained earlier.
All you need to so to use these brushes is just push them inbetween your teeth and brush! No need for toothpaste on them, as they are to be used alongside, preferably after brushing your teeth with a regular toothbrush.
The bristles on these brushes aren't as stiff as others I have used, so when brushing inbetween my teeth, I hardly feel them brushing against my gum, which sometimes can irritate if the bristle are a bit rough, but these seem just the right texture.
They fit inbetween my teeth fine, and they seem to push trapped food out really easily. When I use floss, I can get the trapped food but cannot get it out the top of my teeth, so it ends up trapped. Using these brushes, I can just push it out, like using a toothpick, and these seem to do that fine. Some brushes I have used in the past, as I have pushed through my teeth, the wire has bent, which makes them impossible to use as they are just too flimsy. These brushes don't bent at all on the small push it takes to brush inbetween my teeth.
My top wisdom teeth are quite close to the back of my gum, and I cannot reach behind them with a toothbrush. All I do with these is simply bend the wire brush at the base, the wire is easy to bend as it is like pipe cleaner wire, and I can just easily use them to brush behind my wisdom teeth. Once bent, the wire doesn't go flimsy, it stay bent and needs a good little tug to get it back straight again, so you can tell the wire is tough and doesn't snap or break easily. Also, this means even after bending they can be straightened up to clean teeth again the next day with no problems.
WOULD I RECOMMEND THESE BRUSHES
I do say that after using these brushes my teeth feel cleaner. If you have ever had a scale and polish off a dentist, and you come out feeling the gaps in your front teeth but soon don't after a few weeks, even with regular brushing, with using these brushes, that gap stays there so they clearly help to reduce the build up of plaque.
Interdental brushes can be used more than once, my hygienist told me about 3-4 days but I don't tend to use them more than once as my gums tend to bleed easy so I chuck mine after 1 or 2 days use, but it is up to you how often you use one brush.
The handles on these brushes are thin and then go a bit thicker with a dent for your finger and thumb, so they are really easy to hold when brushing your teeth.
There are 5 brushes in this pack, so they do last up to a week, or longer depending how often you choose to use one brush. My personal use makes them last just over a week, so I buy them weekly and never run out.
These also come with a travel cap, so a used brush isn't just sat on the side in open air.
These cost usually £1 in Wilkinsons, but range up until £2 depending where you buy them.
I've never been able to get on with flossing because I have a small mouth so I find it really difficult getting my hands in the right position to be able to floss properly, so I just never bothered. Recently though I've decided I really should take more care of my teeth so I looked for an alternative and found these Wisdom Clean Between Brushes for £3 in Morrisons.
The brushes come in a card backed plastic pack which has a perforated section on the back for easy opening. There are 20 brushes in the pack which are all connected in a strip, so you have to snap one off when you want to use it.
The brushes are basically just a small white plastic handle with a blue 'brush' which is made of flexible rubber. The handles are flat and I find them easy to grip and keep hold of when using the brushes. The size of the brush makes it easy to manouvre into the right positions to be able use it for every single tooth.
I do find these really easy to use and they slide easily into the gaps between my teeth, and this us something I usually struggle with as I don't have much of a gap at all between most of my teeth. They are extremely effective at cleaning between my teeth and I was surprised at how much debris they removed even when I used them after brushing my teeth. They did make my gums bleed a bit the first couple of times I used them but they soon got used to them and I find them very gentle.
The only real problem I have with them is that the quality is not great. I find that the rubber begins to rub off after doing a couple of teeth and I can only do one row of teeth before it's worn away too much to be effective. This means I have to use 2 brushes every time which works out very expensive to use them every day like you're supposed to.
Overall I do think these are a good product as they are easy to use and effective at cleaning between the teeth where brushes don't reach, but I also think they're very overpriced for the quality of the product, so I'm not sure whether I'd recommend them.