Interdental brushes are designed to clean hard-to-reach pieces of food and plaque between teeth. The product is growing in popularity because, according to the National Center for Biotechnology information, using an interdental brush is more effective than flossing.
An increasing variety of interdental brushes (eco-friendly, automatic, etc.) and the rising number of DTC dental care startups is also driving this product’s recent growth.
For example, a popular pack of interdental brushes brings in approximately $50K/month on Amazon.
Interdental brushes are part of the DTC Oral Care meta trend.
61% of adults have “dental fear”, meaning that they try to avoid the dentist even when they need to see one.
And a growing number of these dentist-fearing consumers are turning to DTC oral care products.
While people still buy toothpaste (and other similar necessities) at brick and mortar stores, they’re increasingly shopping for more advanced oral care products (teeth aligners, electrical brushes, teeth whitening solutions, etc.) online.
In fact, the DTC channel for advanced oral care products is gaining so much traction that established brands like Colgate are launching their own DTC toothbrush lines.
Examples of trending DTC oral care startups include:
- Toothsi is an at-home teeth alignment service. The company has 55k customers.
- RiseWell sells all-natural oral care products containing Hydroxyapatite (the main component of tooth enamel).
Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)
Question: What is an interdental brush?
Answer: An interdental brush is a small brush specially designed to clean between teeth and reach other areas that a regular toothbrush can’t. Many people find that using an interdental toothbrush is easier than flossing, while others do both as part of a thorough oral hygiene routine.
An interdental brush is a small oral care tool designed to clean the spaces between teeth, known as interdental spaces. It typically consists of a slender handle with bristles or filaments attached to it, resembling a miniature bottle brush. Interdental brushes are used to remove plaque, food particles, and debris from areas that are difficult to reach with regular toothbrushes or dental floss.
Question: How do interdental brushes work?
Answer: Interdental brushes work by effectively cleaning the spaces between teeth. The brush’s small, flexible bristles or filaments are inserted into the interdental spaces, and by gently moving the brush back and forth, they help to dislodge and remove plaque, food particles, and bacteria. The bristles can reach areas that may be missed by regular toothbrushes, promoting better oral hygiene and reducing the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
Question: How do I use an interdental brush?
Answer: To use an interdental brush, insert it gently between your teeth and move it back and forth a few times in each space. You should use a new brush every day or when the bristles become worn. You should use interdental brushes once a day before brushing your teeth with a regular toothbrush. Use a brush appropriate for the size of the space between your teeth – you may need to use more than one size. Insert the brush gently between your teeth, and try a smaller brush size if it feels too tight – don’t try to force the brush into the space. Work round the whole of your mouth so you don’t miss any of the spaces.
Question: Why should I use interdental brushes?
Answer: Interdental brushes help to prevent gum disease by getting rid of pieces of food and plaque from between your teeth. They also improve your breath and make your teeth look cleaner and brighter.
Question: When should I use interdental brushes?
Answer: Interdental brushes should be used as part of a daily oral hygiene routine. They are particularly beneficial for individuals with larger interdental spaces, braces, dental implants, or bridges, as these areas are prone to plaque buildup. It is recommended to use interdental brushes at least once a day, preferably before brushing your teeth, to ensure thorough cleaning of the interdental areas.
Question: What are the benefits of using an interdental brush?
Answer: Interdental brushes help to prevent gum disease by getting rid of pieces of food and plaque from between your teeth. They have small bristled heads designed to clean between your teeth, and they come in different widths to suit the sizes of the gaps.
Question: How often should I clean between my teeth?
Answer: You should clean between your teeth at least once a day. This helps remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth and under your gumline.
Question: What are the different types of interdental brushes?
Answer: There are many different types of interdental brushes available on the market. Some have straight handles while others have angled handles. Some have soft bristles while others have firmer bristles. Some are disposable while others are reusable.
Question: What’s the difference between the big brands like TePe, Wisdom and Curaprox?
Answer: There are many brands of interdental brushes available on the market, and they may differ in terms of quality, design, price and availability. Some of the most popular brands are TePe, Wisdom and Curaprox, which are all endorsed by dental professionals and have a wide range of sizes and shapes to suit different needs. TePe brushes have a plastic-coated wire that prevents scratching and a user-friendly handle that can be extended with an optional cap. Wisdom brushes have an extra soft filament that is gentle on gums and a flexible neck that allows better access to hard-to-reach areas. Curaprox brushes have an ultra-fine wire that is strong and durable and a hexagonal handle that offers optimal grip and control.
Question: How do I choose the right size interdental brush?
Answer: To choose the right size interdental brush, you should measure the space between your teeth using an interdental probe or floss. Then choose an interdental brush that fits snugly into that space without causing discomfort. Answer: Interdental brushes come in different sizes to fit different sized gaps between teeth. The size is usually indicated by a colour code on the packaging or on the handle of the brush. The most common sizes are 0.4 mm (pink), 0.45 mm (orange), 0.5 mm (red), 0.6 mm (blue), 0.7 mm (yellow), 0.8 mm (green), 1 mm (purple) and 1.2 mm (grey). You can measure the size of your gaps with an interdental probe or ask your dentist or hygienist for advice.
Selecting the appropriate size of an interdental brush is essential for effective cleaning. The brush should fit comfortably into the interdental spaces without causing discomfort or resistance. It is recommended to choose a size that fills the space snugly but still allows the brush to be inserted and removed easily. If unsure about the correct size, consulting with a dentist or dental hygienist can help in determining the most suitable interdental brush size.
Question: Are interdental brushes better than dental floss?
Answer: Interdental brushes and dental floss serve different purposes but are both important for maintaining good oral hygiene. Interdental brushes are generally more effective in cleaning larger interdental spaces and areas around dental work, such as implants or bridges. Dental floss, on the other hand, is better suited for cleaning tight spaces between teeth. Ideally, a combination of interdental brushes and dental floss should be used to ensure comprehensive cleaning of the interdental areas.
Question: How often should I replace my interdental brush?
Answer: You should replace your interdental brush every day or when the bristles become worn.
Question: How many times can I reuse them?
Answer: Interdental brushes can be reused as long as they are clean and not damaged or bent out of shape. You should rinse them well after each use and let them air dry before storing them in a clean container. You should replace them when they become worn or frayed, which is usually after one or two weeks of use.
Question: Can interdental brushes replace regular toothbrushes?
Answer: No, interdental brushes cannot replace regular toothbrushes. While interdental brushes are designed to clean the spaces between teeth, they do not provide comprehensive cleaning of tooth surfaces, gums, and other oral areas. Regular toothbrushes are still necessary for removing plaque and debris from tooth surfaces and should be used in conjunction with interdental brushes for optimal oral hygiene.
Question: Can I use an interdental brush if I have braces?
Answer: Yes, you can use an interdental brush if you have braces. However, you may need to use a special type of interdental brush that is designed for use with braces.
Question 7: Are interdental brushes suitable for everyone?
Answer: Interdental brushes are generally suitable for most individuals, but the size and type of interdental brush may vary based on individual needs. People with gum disease, sensitive gums, or certain dental conditions should consult with their dentist or dental hygienist before using interdental brushes to ensure they select the most appropriate product and technique. It is important to follow professional advice to avoid any potential damage or discomfort.
Question: Can they damage my gums?
Answer: Interdental brushes can cause some bleeding and tenderness when you first start using them, but this should reduce as your gums become healthier and more used to them. If you experience persistent bleeding or pain, you may be using a brush that is too big for your gap, applying too much pressure, or brushing too vigorously. Try using a smaller brush size, inserting it gently, and moving it slowly back and forth with minimal pressure. If you still have problems, get advice from your dentist or hygienist.
Question: Can I use an interdental brush if I have sensitive teeth?
Answer: Yes, you can use an interdental brush if you have sensitive teeth. However, you should choose a soft-bristled brush and be gentle when using it.
Question: How should interdental brushes be cleaned and maintained?
Answer: To maintain the effectiveness and longevity of interdental brushes, it is recommended to clean them thoroughly after each use. Rinse the brush under running water to remove any debris and gently shake off excess moisture. It can also be helpful to use a mild soap or toothpaste to clean the bristles. After cleaning, store the brush in a clean, dry place. Replace the interdental brush regularly, typically every one to two weeks or when the bristles become worn or frayed.
Question: Are there any risks associated with using an interdental brush?
Answer: There are no significant risks associated with using an interdental brush. However, if you use it too aggressively or too frequently, you may damage your gums or tooth enamel.
Question: Where can I buy cheap interdental brushes?
Answer: You can buy interdental brushes from pharmacies, supermarkets, online retailers, or directly from the manufacturers’ websites. The price may vary depending on the brand, size, quantity and quality of the brushes. You can compare prices online or look for discounts, offers or bulk deals to save money.
Question: Can interdental brushes cause gum damage?
Answer: When used correctly, interdental brushes should not cause gum damage. However, if excessive force or improper technique is applied during brushing, it can lead to gum irritation or injury. It is important to be gentle and avoid forcing the brush into tight spaces. Using the appropriate size of interdental brush and following proper brushing technique, as recommended by dental professionals, can help minimize the risk of gum damage.
Question: Are there any alternatives to interdental brushes?
Answer: Yes, there are alternative tools and products available for cleaning interdental spaces. Dental floss, dental picks, water flossers, and interdental sticks are some commonly used alternatives. Each option has its advantages and suitability based on individual preferences and dental needs. Consulting with a dentist or dental hygienist can help in determining the most suitable alternative to interdental brushes for specific oral care requirements.
Question: Are there any eco-friendly alternatives?
Answer: Interdental brushes are usually made of plastic and metal, which are not very environmentally friendly materials. However, there are some alternatives that are more eco-friendly, such as bamboo interdental brushes, which have biodegradable handles and natural bristles; silicone interdental brushes, which have reusable handles and replaceable tips; or dental floss or tape, which can be made of natural materials like silk or cotton.
Question: How often should I visit my dentist or hygienist?
Answer: You should visit your dentist or hygienist regularly for check-ups and professional cleaning, even if you use interdental brushes every day. They can monitor your oral health, detect any problems early, remove any tartar or stains that may build up over time, and give you personalised advice on how to improve your oral hygiene routine.