Orthodontic Health

What is orthodontic interdental brush and its applications?

a person cleaning their teeth with an interdental brush

An orthodontic interdental brush is a toothbrush used to clean the space between the teeth and braces. Patients who undergo orthodontics should pay more attention to the health of their mouth and teeth than other people because they are more exposed to diseases such as tooth decay and discoloration due to the placement of orthodontic devices in their mouths. This type of toothbrush is a tool used to maintain the health of teeth during treatment. Here, we further examine the orthodontic IDBs.

Why should you use orthodontic interdental brushes?

During orthodontic treatment, the patient’s teeth and mouth become more sensitive, and their maintenance becomes more important. Therefore, the use of an orthodontic interdental brush becomes crucial during the treatment period. Because orthodontic devices are placed on the teeth, they make it more difficult to clean them. Thus, bacteria may accumulate under the wires and braces and cause decay or discoloration in these areas.

If patients do not use an orthodontic interdental brush during treatment, the risk of these complications will increase. The orthodontic device may also cause inflammation in the gum and oral tissues and increase the risk of oral infections. This is why these patients should use all methods of keeping their mouths and teeth healthy, including an orthodontic interdental brush.

an an interdental brush placed on a replica of human teeth with a fixed orthodontic appliance

Uses of interdental brushes

Orthodontic interdental brushes have diverse uses and are often used during orthodontic treatment. However, they can also be utilized by other people. Their most important application include:

  •  Cleaning the spaces between teeth during orthodontic treatment
  •  Cleaning orthodontic archwires and braces
  •  Washing and cleaning the teeth under the archwire
  •  Cleaning of implant and prosthesis screws
  •  Cleaning interdental spaces in people with interdental gaps
  • Massaging the gums to clean them and reduce inflammation

Advantages of orthodontic interdental brushes compared to other types of toothbrush

Regular toothbrushes are used to clean the front, bottom, and back surfaces of the teeth and cannot clean the spaces between teeth and gums well because they do not have access to these areas. An orthodontic interdental brush easily cleans the space between the teeth, like dental floss, as well as the gums. By using these toothbrushes along with regular toothbrushes, dental floss, and mouthwash, you can clean your mouth and teeth in the best possible way and prevent dental plaque and decay.

Choosing the best interdental brush

Your orthodontist chooses the best interdental brush for you because if its type and size are not chosen correctly, it may damage your gums and teeth. These types of toothbrushes are selected according to the oral and dental disease complications. They are selected according to the distance between teeth, dental bridges, type of treatment (orthodontics, implants, etc.), and type of gums.

Types of interdental brush

Orthodontic interdental brushes are classified according to the application and the size of the gap between teeth for which they are used. These toothbrushes are designed in various L-shaped, round, and bristled shapes and are selected and used depending on the patient’s needs.

types of interdental brush placed next to regular toothbrushes

L-shaped toothbrushes can easily clean hard-to-reach areas, such as the spaces between the back teeth. Like L-shaped toothbrushes, round toothbrushes can easily clean the spaces between teeth that are more difficult to reach and are also suitable for washing archwires and braces. Bristled toothbrushes function very much like dental floss and can be used to clean the spaces between teeth, archwires, and braces. The choice of each type is made by the patient’s orthodontist according to the shape of the teeth and jaw.

How to use an interdental brush

Interdental brushes are very easy to use; however, if not used properly, they may damage the teeth and gums. For correct use during orthodontic treatment, the following points must be kept in mind:

  • Choose a suitable interdental brush with the help of your orthodontist.
  • Before using an interdental brush, brush your teeth well with a regular toothbrush.
  • Gently insert the interdental brush into the interdental space
  • Do not press or force it into the gaps or under the archwires.
  • After inserting the interdental brush into the gap, gently and slowly move it back and forth.
  • Repeat this for the space between the teeth and the archwires, around the braces, and the spaces between the braces.
  • Use the interdental brush every time you use a regular toothbrush (twice a day).

Frequently asked questions about orthodontic interdental brushes

1- Is it enough to use an interdental brush during orthodontic treatment?

No. To maintain the health of your teeth during orthodontic treatment, use not only the interdental brush but also a regular toothbrush, dental floss, mouthwash, and other methods prescribed by the orthodontic.

2- What should we do if using an orthodontic interdental brush causes gum bleeding and pain?

If you experience pain or bleeding in the gums while using an orthodontic interdental brush, you probably have gingivitis or are not using it properly. You should consult your orthodontist.

3- How long should you use an interdental brush during orthodontic treatment?

The IDB, which has a therapeutic application, should be used until the end of the orthodontic treatment.

4- How to take care of an interdental brush?

Do not keep the orthodontic interdental brush in a closed space like the bathroom; there are many bacteria in this environment which may accumulate on the toothbrush and transfer to the mouth and teeth during use.

5- What is the benefit of an interdental brush for other people?

Other people can always use an interdental brush to massage their gums and clean their teeth as much as possible.

Dr Abdolreza Jamilian Orthodontist
About Dr Abdolreza Jamilian Orthodontist

Dr. Jamilian, an orthodontist, has a specialized fellowship in orthodontic surgery and maxillofacial abnormalities and is a professor in the orthodontics department of the Dentistry School of the Islamic Azad University. He is member of Iranian and European Board of Orthodontics (EBO) and is a member of the Iranian, American and European Orthodontists Association.

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