This video will teach you how to use an interdental brush or the brush that will use the clean between your teeth. If you followed our last video on how to brush your teeth properly, you realize that the most important thing is to make sure you get your toothbrush right where the bacteria is sitting. Tooth brushing will do most of the work by cleaning the bacteria around the gums on either side and on top of the teeth. But one of the areas that the toothbrush doesn’t get into very well is between your teeth. That’s why you’ll hear a lot of dentists talk about how to use floss to get in between your teeth. Most of the time if you don’t have any gaps between your teeth, flossing is the way to go.
But in some patients who have had gum disease in the past, the gum tends to recede between the teeth. You see that when the gum receeds between the teeth, you tend to get a bigger gap. You find out that when you’re using floss in between these gaps, it doesn’t remove the food or bacteria very well. How many times have you tried flossing between your teeth after meals and you find that that piece of chicken is always there and it doesn’t seem to come out? So in this instance, you definitely need to use the little brush that goes in between your teeth called an interdental brush.
Interdental brushes almost like a bottle cleaner, but they’re small in size. These are made for cleaning in between your teeth and we’re going to show you how. If you have a look at the models (1:48), you can bend the brush that is usually straight, 90 degrees, so it’s easier for you to use and goes in between your teeth. What you’ll be doing is brushing in between your teeth here (2:04). That’s all you have to do. Just goes in and out and keep that towards the gum because that’s where the bacteria tend to be sitting. Usually, all you have to do is push it from the cheek side of the teeth. But if you find it difficult to remove some food, you may need to go from inside your mouth and push into your cheek.
You’ll find that when you first use these your gums tend to be swollen in between your teeth because of the bacteria. After you use them for a while, you find that it becomes easier and easier to use and interdental brush. The important thing about this brush is it has to be a bristle. You can’t have things like rubber because that tends to do more damage. With this brush (3:09), it’s designed to get rid of the bacteria.
Generally we recommend you to use an interdental brush after you brush your teeth, because if you use it before your normal brush you’ll be packing the bacteria in between your teeth. You want to come around and push it all out afterwards. Some of my really good patients, they’ll use this after every single meal, because they’ll tell me that once you’ve got these gaps, any time they had something to eat, food tends to go in there. So they’ll always have one with them to push any food out . When you are using these Piksters, you need to find the right size for your teeth. Keep in mind that all the gaps are not going to be the same size. A good guide would be a size that goes in the mouth that’s a little bit snug, but not too loose and is not too tight.
Our recommendation would be to get a variety pack that has one of every size (4:20). Each color handle will indicate a particular size. Keep in mind that once you figure out which size best suits, you only need to use those ones to clean between your teeth. It could mean that you need more than one color to be able to clean all in your mouth. But I recommend that you don’t have any more than three because it can get confusing knowing what one to use.
Most of the time you only need the smaller ones to go in between the teeth. But sometimes you may need some bigger ones. The larger ones may be better to clean the teeth at the back of your mouth. Some feedback I recieve is “I can’t reach over there.” So big size Piksters can be really useful. We may also use piksters to clean between any teeth you may be missing.
With patients missing a tooth, they may use plates or dentures where the missing teeth are. These are areas that collect a lot of plaque. For patients who wear braces, piksters are really useful as well, because that’s where food and bacteria tend to accumulate. Otherwise, a lot of time after you finish with orthodontic treatment, and take your braces off, it may leave white spots which shows the start of decay.
With Piksters, I can tell you now, they’re not single use. You use them after you brush your teeth, you clean them with water, leave them next to your toothbrush, because that way you won’t forget the next time you need to use it. Once you see that the bristle is damaged, you can chuck it away and get a new one. I’ve been asking a lot of my patients and generally they tell me anywhere between one to three weeks. It also depends on how much you use them as well. Keep in mind the colour you need so that when you need more you no longer need to get the variety pack.
Generally a pack comes in 10 and one of them lasts you one to three weeks, so you find that a pack of 10 will last you a few months. It’s actually not a bad investment at all to look after your teeth really well. Keep in mind that different brands may have different colours for different sizes, so it’s best to stick to the same brand.
So a yellow size for TePe is not a yellow size for Piksters. Other things with the Piksters, they have other accessories that you can use as well for some people who’s finding it hard to use the brush in between the back teeth. They’ve got something like handles (8:11) that you can attach to the Piksters, so it makes it a lot easier for you to use. Or for the people who are really keen, Piksters also have a little container like a key ring that you can take. For example when you are at work after lunch, you would like to use that to clean between your teeth. Then you can do that as well. Hope this information has been useful to you and we’ll see you next time.