Instructions for Use of Interproximal Brushes

Interdental brushes can be purchased in a variety of sizes, ranging from small (1.9 mm) to very large (14 mm). It is important to choose the correct diameter of the bristle part of the brush. The size of the space between the teeth determines the size of the diameter of the bristles on the brush. Dental professionals can precisely identify which sizes you need and also demonstrate their proper use. A brush that is too small will not completely clean the interdental spaces, and a brush that is too large can injure the gums. The wire of an interdental brush must be thin and the bristles as fine and as long as possible. With such dimensions, the interdental brush will fill the entire space between the teeth quite softly and gently. Tooth spacing varies, so it is often necessary to use a different size of brush within one mouth for optimal cleansing. To remove dental plaque effectively, there should be a slight degree of resistance when the brush is moved back and forth between the teeth.


Always use the interdental brush without toothpaste.

Hold the interdental brush just behind the bristles between the thumb and forefinger. Support can be achieved when necessary by placing your other fingers on your chin. From the outer side of the space, push the interdental brush carefully between the teeth, taking care that the brush remains at a right angle to the teeth.

You may bend the interdental brush slightly to improve accessibility to the posterior interdental spaces.

Avoid scraping the center (metal spiral part) of the brush against the teeth.

Slide the brush in and out of the space using the full length of the bristle part of the brush. This action will remove the dental plaque.

The area of contact between the brush and the teeth can be somewhat increased by using differing angles of insertion.

Do not push interdental brushes between the teeth with force. Slight pressure of the brush against the gums should be used, as it will allow the bristles to penetrate slightly underneath the gum margin. By slightly closing the mouth, it will be easier to manipulate the brush as the tension in the cheeks is lessened. It might also be helpful to bend the brush slightly to ease insertion.

Cleanse all areas between the teeth where an interdental brush will fit. Rinse interdental brushes thoroughly after use and allow them to dry out. It is often a good idea to combine the use of interdental brushes and woodsticks.

Do not be alarmed if the gums bleed initially. This bleeding does not mean that you have an injury but inflammation, which is caused by concealed, old plaque. This reaction is fairly normal during the first week. Using the interdental brush will soon cure this inflammation, and the bleeding will stop. As the inflammation subsides, the interdental spaces will become slightly larger, and you will most likely need a larger interdental brush. Ask your dental professional.