• Tim Rodgers

The Ins and Outs of Interdental Brushes

We have previously provided advice on how best to keep your teeth clean using a toothbrush but it’s important you also clean the hard to see or reach parts of your teeth as well. Cleaning between your teeth and on your gumline is essential to ensuring you have removed all plaque and food particles. To clean these areas, we use flossing or interdental brushing as a regular toothbrush unfortunately cannot reach them.

Interdental brushes have small bristled heads designed to get between your teeth. They come in different widths to suit the sizes of the gaps, you can buy them from your dental practice, pharmacies and in the supermarket. If you are unable to get out, then you can always use the CTS website to buy supplies directly.

Another option is dental floss and is recommended for use where the gaps in your teeth maybe too hard to clean with an interdental brush. Individuals may also have a personal preference on using one or the other or a mixture of the two. Research does show that interdental brushes provide better plaque removal than floss.

From the age of 12, as well as brushing twice daily, we recommend that you should clean between your teeth at least once a day, ensuring you keep a regular pattern so that you don’t miss any areas. Sometimes, looking in a mirror can help to ensure that you reach the gaps in every tooth. For children under the age of 12, they may need help with flossing safely and this can start as soon as they will let you do this.

How to use interdental brushes

Make sure you use a brush appropriate to the size of the space between your teeth as you may need more than one interdental brush. Your dentist/hygienist can help you to find the right size. They are coloured to represent the different widths. They also come with short or long handles to make it easier to reach the teeth further back.

Holding the interdental brush between your thumb and finger, gently place the brush through the gap between your teeth. Do not force the brush head through the gap, if the brush bends then it is too big and you’ll need to use a smaller brush head.

Work your way around the gaps between each tooth in an orderly way so that you don’t miss any of the spaces. When you first start using interdental brushes, your gums may bleed, they may also be tender as you start to remove any plaque build-up. Bleeding is a sign that the gums are not healthy, but this is completely normal if you have not cleaned in between your teeth in this way before. If you can carry on using the brushes, bleeding should reduce as your gums become healthier.

If your gums are still bleeding after a few days, seek advice from your dentist as you may be using the interdental brushes incorrectly.

Step-by-step instructions

Make it a daily routine to brush between your teeth with an interdental brush. It will keep your mouth healthy and prevent gum inflammation and cavities. Interdental brushes can also be used for cleaning of implants and orthodontic appliances.

Make interdental brushes part of your daily routine

Did you know that a toothbrush can only reach 60% of the tooth surfaces? Dental plaque builds up between your teeth where a toothbrush does not reach. It is a good idea to use an interdental brush as part of your daily cleaning routine to prevent gum inflammation, cavities and bad breath.

An interdental brush is a small brush specially designed to clean between your teeth, where a regular toothbrush does not reach. Daily use of an interdental brush in addition to regular toothbrushing, is an easy and efficient way to keep your gums and teeth fresh and healthy.

Choose the right size

For best result, it is important to choose an interdental brush of the right size. Often, you need more than one brush size and your dental professional can help to select the correct brush size or sizes for you. If you for any reason don’t have access to a dental professional, try TePe interdental mix-pack to find a suitable size.

Use your interdental brush once a day, preferably in the evening and in front of the mirror. Move the brush gently back and forth a few times in each interdental space.

Don’t use regular toothpaste, since it contains abrasives. You can instead apply TePe Gingival Gel with chlorhexidine and fluoride, which is specially designed for use with an interdental brush.


How do I use the interdental brush?

  1. Choose the right size

  2. Insert gently

  3. Move the brush back and forth in each space

  4. Change size and curve the neck or wire when needed

  5. Change the brush when the filaments become worn

How to use interdental brushes between the front teeth

Use a straight interdental brush between the front teeth.

Insert the brush gently between your teeth. Do not force the brush into a space; work it in gently or choose a smaller size.

Move the interdental brush full length back and forth a few times.

How to use interdental brushes between the back teeth

See different instructions for small and big interdental brush sizes.

If you use a small interdental brush (pink, orange, red or blue) you may curve the soft neck slightly.

By adding pressure with your finger to make it easier to reach between the back teeth.

If you use an interdental brush of a larger size, access between the back teeth may be improved if you slightly curve the wire.

The interdental brush will last longer if you do not straighten or bend the brush at another angle.

How to use TePe Angle

TePe Angle is an interdental brush designed for excellent access to all interdental spaces. It has an angled brush head and a longer handle.

Angled for easy use and excellent access

TePe Angle™ is an interdental brush designed for controlled and convenient interdental cleaning. The angled brush head makes it easier to reach, especially between the back teeth and from the inside. The long, flat handle offers a stable, ergonomic grip. TePe Angle is available in six colour coded sizes, all with plastic coated wire for safe use.

How to use TePe Angle™ between the back teeth

TePe Angle™ has an angled brush head for easy reach between the back teeth. It can be used both from the outside and the inside.

TePe Angle™ used from the outside.

TePe Angle™ used from the inside.

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