I went to see my dentist last week, and it was then I realised that I hadn’t been for over 2 years. 2 years! I used to be fairly regular before this, doing the twice-yearly check-ups as recommended, for oral health. But a lot happened in the past 2 years, and truth to tell, going to the dentist just didn’t feature on my schedule.
The only reason I thought of going, was because my teeth felt weird, which is reason enough! Fortunately, none of my teeth were going to fall out, and my teeth were professionally cleaned, as they should have been months ago!
So, my PSA today, is to tell you that if you have not seen your dentist for teeth cleaning and a check up recently, DO IT! Don’t wait! Make your appointment NOW!
I also wanted to share with you my latest dental discovery – interdental brushes!
While I was given a clean bill of dental health, my dentist did identify some potential issues that could arise in the future. So, he recommended that I use an interdental brush, instead of dental floss for healthier teeth and gums. We all know we should floss, but I don’t know about you, I’m a lazy bum when it comes to flossing. Oops 😛
So, after my appointment, I ran off to the nearest pharmacy and picked up a pack of interdental brushes, and then went home to do a little research on this little gadget that I was unfamiliar with 🙂
What is an interdental brush?
Interdental brushes are these really tiny little brushes that come in varying sizes. They are usually sold in packs of multiple pieces and there are many different brands out there. I bought one by Japanese brand, Dentalpro, because it happened to be on sale. If you know of other brands that could be better, feel free to let me know! 😀
These little brushes are inserted into the space between your teeth (hence, “inter”dental) to clean the parts that your normal toothbrush may not be able to reach.
Why use an interdental brush instead of dental floss?
I don’t know really. I’m not a dental expert! 😛 But based on my research, interdental brushes are apparently able to clean the space between teeth better, as the bristles expand in the cavity to cover a wider area. A piece of floss is just a thin thread which can be useful in tight spaces, but which is less useful if you have wider gaps between your teeth, or aren’t getting the space between your teeth clean enough. That said, it seems that interdental brushes work better if you have wider gaps between your teeth and dental floss works better if your teeth are close together, so pick either one, but be sure to clean between your teeth!
From a personal viewpoint, I find that compared to dental floss, using an interdental brush is more practical, dislodges food particles more effectively, and keeps my teeth feeling cleaner. Also, because I keep it on my bathroom sink, I can use it immediately after brushing my teeth, as part of my routine. Granted I could do the same with floss, but I just never quite got the hang of it.
For this reason, I find that using an interdental brush is a more practical option and solution for me to keep my teeth and gums healthy. I have found that since I started using them, I experience less gum bleeds while brushing my teeth. That is always a good thing!
How to use an interdental brush?
I got my dentist to show me how to use one, and I suggest you do the same. It is quite simple, but having someone show you how is always clearer. Gently insert the brush in the gap between the teeth (at the gum area), and pull it back and forth in a brushing motion. This helps dislodge food particles, and cleans the space between your teeth that your regular brushing may not have reached.
Note: Be sure to wash and rinse your interdental brush as you move from one space to another. It’s just hygienic.
Personally speaking, I’ve found that the interdental brush helps me be more invested in my dental hygiene, and it also helps me keep to a better dental routine. I’ve always been rather lax about using dental floss. But this brush, because it follows on from my regular tooth brushing, just seems more natural to me, and in my case, seems to dislodge particles more easily and cleanly.
If you’d like to read a little more about it, here are some articles I read and came across while in the course of my research. You can read a couple of them here and here, and read the case against interdental brushes here (I understand the concerns about injuring the gum, hence the need for gentle use of the brush).
Ultimately, the take away from this post is this – Please see your dentist, if you have not done so in a least 6 months and if you are curious about interdental brushes, ask your dentist about them, and whether you should use them. Don’t just blindly follow everything you read on the internet LOL! 😀
Do you use an interdental brush?
I personally find the brush to better serve my dental needs. You may not. But whichever you pick, see your dentist regularly! It’ll save you money in the long run 🙂