* Prices may differ from that shown
It was with trepidation that I recently went to my annual dentist and hygienist appointments. Although I am a bit of a stickler for keeping my teeth clean, there is always the worry that the dentist might find something or else that I might get a good telling off about the poor quality of my dental hygiene. Fortunately for me neither of these issues was raised however, I was advised to floss my teeth with more regularity and the hygienist took the opportunity to show me these Tepe interdental brushes. I had spotted a display of these brushes when I entered the dentist surgery and commented to my husband about the pretty colours however it wasn't until the hygienist began to use a couple on my teeth that I really appreciated the benefit.
Quite simply, these interdental brushes are designed to clean the narrow areas between teeth including those around bridges and dental implants. The bristles are attached to a thin piece of metal wire which is relatively flexible and allows you to position the brush between each pair of teeth with minimal discomfort. Each brush is designed for purpose in my opinion with a slightly rounded head with which to hold the brush during use and this ensures that you can grip it well when you are reaching some of the harder to reach areas in your mouth. One thing which struck me about these brushes was the amount of colours that they came in ranging from bright red and green to less bold black and grey. The hygienist explained to me that each colour represented a thickness of brush and for information these are as follows:
Pink - 0.4mm
Orange - 0.45mm
Red - 0.5mm
Blue - 0.6mm
Yellow - 0.7mm
Green - 0.8mm
Purple - 1.1mm
Grey - 1.3mm
Black - 1.5mm
The size of brush that you choose depends entirely on the size of the gap between your teeth. I was fortunate that the hygienist recommended that I use the smallest of the brushes as I have quite narrow gaps between my teeth (that being the pink) and so once home I ordered a selection of pink brushes from Amazon. The brushes arrived in packets of eight and I ordered five packets in total. Each packet has a see through section at the front enabling you to see the pink brushes inside and we are told that these brushes are made in Sweden. Further information states that these brushes have improved access and durability and a small diagram shows how the brushes should be used between each tooth.
To use these brushes I really like to ensure that I have already flossed my teeth with my dental flossers to ensure that every tooth has been cleaned. It is unfortunate that not all the gaps between my teeth are big enough to use an interdental brush (you are advised not to force them between a gap) and therefore I like to make sure every tooth has been flossed before I start using these brushes. Once ready to go I begin by taking one of these brushes and bending the bristles down ever so slightly so that the wire is at a 90° angle. I find this the most used friendly method of ensuring that I can brush through every nook and cranny without having to pull my cheeks in every direction imaginable. I then work the point of the wire through the gap in my teeth and pull it slowly from front to back to ensure that all the plaque has been cleaned starting at the front of my mouth and working back. With each brush I wipe off the bristles before working my way onto the next pair of teeth. On the back teeth it really is a case of moving the wire to different angles to ensure that I can reach the harder to reach places with ease. Once I am satisfied that I have done every possible section, I finish off the process by cleaning my teeth with an electric toothbrush and gargling some mouthwash. All in all this is quite a long winded process and as a result I only do it every other day as oppose to every night which is advised by most dentists.
My hygienist did advise that I could re-use a brush for two nights in a row however, I don't like to think of the bacteria sitting on the brush in between uses and therefore use a new one every time.
After using these brushes for the first time a couple of weeks ago I was quite amazed at the amount of bleeding that they produced along my gums. I had been advised that this was the natural reaction due to the amount of bacteria along the gum line and that the bleeding would soon abate which fortunately it has. I am keen to keep up the use of these after the hygienist did such a good job of decaling my teeth and therefore I have been using them every other day for two weeks. The results really are excellent as my teeth not only look cleaner but they also feel cleaner and with each use I find it easier the next time round to work the small bristles between the gaps. The process, though time consuming, is very easy to do and with regular use I am finding it completely painless. Additionally, the quality of the brushes ensures that they last an entire round of teeth without loosing any bristles or breaking in those harder to reach areas. Using these brushes I am confident that I am doing a thorough job of cleaning my teeth and the proof is in the fact that the horrible line of plaque, which usually sits between my front bottom teeth has yet to reappear.
I did take the time to shop around for these Tepe brushes and found them most competitive on Amazon where I purchased five packs of eight (40 brushes) for £14.60. Using these every day works out at around 37p per brush which I do not think is too extortionate considering that my set of 40 should last for around three months with use every other day.
I can honestly say that I enjoy using these little brushes and if they protect my teeth from further plaque and decay then they really are a good investment. With each use I continue to find the method quicker and the bleeding minimal therefore I am satisfied that I am doing the best job of keeping my teeth clean. I just hope the dentist agrees at my next appointment..
I would recommend these quality little brushes and as a result they score a well deserved five stars from me. I just hope I can keep up the good work.
I hope this review has been of some help and thanks for reading! x
My mum has used these for a few years now. She has always suffered with her teeth but touch wood I seem to have been lucky. However when I last visited the dentist about a month ago he suggested I tried these too because whilst the areas of teeth you could see were clean, the gaps between the teeth weren't brilliant. He gave me a brush to try which was the pink brush that is 0.4mm wide. This is the smallest brush in the range and it does seem to be the one most commonly used. Since visiting the dentist I have bought some more of these. I paid something like £4 for 16 brushes from amazon. Boots do their own range where 6 cost just over £3.
To use the brush you simply hold the small handle with your thumb and index finger and carefully insert the small brush into the gaps between the teeth. The brush is small and fine bristles come from a piece of wire. This makes the brush head easy to manoeuvre and it is easy to clean in the small gaps. When you remove the brush you can often see bits of food stuck to the bristles which is proof they remove stuff that wouldn't normally be removed. After each tooth I give the brush a quick rinse under the tap. I do not use toothpaste with it.
I find it comfortable to clean my teeth and I feel like it is quick and easy to get round my whole mouth probably only taking a minute or so. I have small teeth, infact all of my teeth bar 8 are milk teeth and I have no adult teeth to come through so the gaps are quite small. The brush fits through most of the gaps but there are a couple it doesn't fit through.
The brush lasts a few weeks before needing to be replaced. If you buy a multipack of the brushes you get a clear tube to put your brush in which is helpful to keep it clean.
I like using these brushes as my teeth and mouth feel cleaner. They reach areas of the teeth that usually wouldn't get brushed so therefore are hopefully improving my oral hygiene. They are reasonably priced and readily available and I will continue to buy them and recommend them to others who are looking to improve their oral hygiene.
I have just recently bought the TePe Interdental brushes to help fight the plaque and protect my gums. The ones I have are the red ones which are 0.5 mm in width which is actually just slightly to big for some of my front teeth. There are six of them in a sturdy plastic case which protects them.
They have ISO size 2 on the case in a range from 0 - 7, which covers 0.4 mm to 1.3 mm . I bought mine from Tesco after trying Tesco's own much cheaper version of Interdental brushes. Tesco's version as a comparison did not last any time at all, only a couple od days each, and bits of them got stuck in my teeth ( defeating the object ).
These cost £3 from Tesco for a pack of 6, which now I have tried them I consider to be good value as they are top quality and are lasting a long time. They are made by a Swedish company TePe see www.TePe.com
There is good practical advice on the back about using the brushes including - my thoughts are in brackets
Never force the brush ( it means you need to buy a smaller brush )
use daily change when worn ( using daily makes a difference to how your teeth feel )
Rinse the brush during and after use ( hygiene )
I am happy I have found this make in Tesco, I will buy them again, as I have had problems with my teeth £3 is nothing compared to dentist bills and losing your teeth! I will buy the smallest ones next time 0 as these jam slightly in a few of my teeth and use both sets as well as mouthwash and toothpaste.
It may seem like overkill to some people I know, bit my dentist told me that I am not producing much saliva and have a dry mouth which can cause problems I also have had a jaw injury which cracked a few teeth which keeps coming back as a problem.
These brushes are part of my daily routine, I wish I had know about them 15 years ago ( if they were around then ).
About two years ago, after not visiting a dentist for a while, I made that dreaded appointment and was told I had advanced gum disease.
Having already lost a tooth, and the remaining teeth all feeling somewhat unstable, I took notice of what this dentist was saying as I had visions of becoming a toothless crone.
The advice the [now 'my'] dentist gave me was to go buy some interdental brushes and USE THEM.
Tepe interdental brushes are sold in the reception area of the dental practice, I started with pink brushes, size 0.4mm. Wondered how on earth these were going to fit inbetween my teeth, went home, used them sometimes once, sometimes twice a day if I remembered, for 3 months and returned to the same dentist expecting that she would able to see how diligent I had been.
However, she asked me if I had been using interdental brushes at all! Well, the outcome of that visit was that I must be using brushes that are too small and she suggested using yellow Tepes, so back to reception, bought some yellow Tepe interdental brushes, size 0.7mm. Wondered how on earth these were going to fit inbetween my teeth, went home, used them that night, realised these were ok for a small section of my teeth but bigger ones were needed for everywhere else.
Next day, went back to the dentists, bought a pack of green Tepe interdental brushes, size 0.8mm. These look pretty big but this time I didn't wonder how on earth these were going to fit inbetween my teeth, I knew they would. That night after I brushed my teeth and inbetween my teeth, trying both the green and yellow brushes to see which size fitted in which spaces, my mouth felt 'dentist clean'.
For a while I brushed inbetween my teeth after every meal in order to retain the very clean mouth feeling I got from finally learning how to properly clean my teeth.
Three months later, back to the see the same dentist. A different story this time. She commented on my very good oral hygiene and said there was very little plaque on my teeth, she said my teeth were feeling a little more secure in my mouth too, so hooray.
I have been using green and yellow Tepe interdental brushes each day, usually twice a day, for a little over two years now, aswell as visiting my dentist every three months for a quick descale. My once advanced gum disease has stabilised and my teeth are no longer loose in my mouth.
It is important to use the correct size of interdental brush, too small and you won't get the full benefit, too large and you could hurt your gums.
I buy my Tepe brushes from my dental practice, they are £3 for a pack of 8, and each brush lasts 3 to 4 days before needing to be replaced.
I absolutely recommend interdental brushing with Tepe interdental brushes, they have saved my teeth from all falling out. They are brilliant!
About four years ago, despite not having any bleeding at all, my dentist informed me I had Gum Disease!!
To say I was mortified was an understatement. I have had nightmares in the past about my teeth crumbling and falling out one by one. Have very often woken up in a hot sweat to find teeth still intact. Phew!!
The dentist worked around my mouth with a metal thing, poking around my gums and taking measurements. I could hear her calling out numbers to the assistant. "7...5...8...4...6"...They meant nothing to me at the time but I have since realised that this is the gap between gum and tooth and the measurement should really be 1 or 2. So I had major problems. Though to look at my teeth you wouldn't know. Apparently the pockets in the gum around the teeth can harbour bacteria and this is what causes the gum disease. I was recommended to start using an electric toothbrush and to use these Tepe brushes.
***What are they?***
They are small brushes with a coloured plastic bit on the end to hold them with. The different colours indicate the width of the brush and you need to trial and error to see which fits the gap in your teeth best. Your dentist can help with this. One person may need to use several different sizes to fit the different gaps around the mouth.
***What do you do with them?***
You place the small brush in between teeth and brush through against the gum line several times. This helps remove bits of food that get stuck and can't be reached by brushing alone. You move around the mouth, changing brushes if needed till all of the mouth has been done. I do this first and then brush.
***How long do they last?***
They come in packs of six and I vaguely remember reading someones review where they used a new one each day! Having just paid £3.25 in Sainsburys for mine this would work out rather costly so I use each of mine several times making sure they are cleaned after each use.
***How are they to use?**
Initially I found them to be time consuming until I got my technique right and I now I do it without even thinking about it. Your dentist can show you the correct way to use.
***Did they solve my problem?***
Well its been a long old slog. (Costly as well) My hygienist has had to do several deep scrapes around the gums to get rid of all bacteria (Not a nice experience I can assure you!) and I have had one referral to a gum specialist in Harrogate who really seemed to get on top of the problem but through a combination of using an electric toothbrush, using my little yellow brushes (0.7mm) and regular 3 monthly visits to my hygienist, I am back to getting mostly 2's and 3's on my gum measurements. The hygienist said I keep my teeth really clean and these little brushes make a huge difference!
***Price and availability***
As I said previously, I have just paid £3.25 in Sainsburys but have just spotted on Amazon 8 for £2.99 or 32 brushes for £9.25!!! Can't believe I never thought of looking on Amazon before but I will be doing in the future. They can also be bought at most supermarkets and Boots. I have tried some really cheap other make from superdrug and they weren't worth using. I should have used these years ago and then I wouldn't have ended up with problems.
I have an excellent dentist and until recently I thought we got along pretty well. He always had a cheery word for me and we would discuss cricket and golf in a matey kind of a way. When pain and/or a mouthful of apparatus prevented us from interaction, he would still chat away in a friendly manner while I tried to find Wally in the big poster he has on the ceiling.
So all good then until the time before last, when he suddenly, out of nowhere it seemed to me, offered the unsolicited opinion that I was a "profuse bleeder".
I thought this was taking the jolly banter a little too far and would have told him so had the nurse not had that dental vacuum thingy down my throat. It also occurred to me that I should tread carefully as he was the one, after all, wielding the sharp, pointy instruments.
However, it seems it wasn't my dentist who was being foul mouthed. It was me. It turned out, happily for our relationship and my self-esteem, that he was talking about my gums.
~ ~ So What's Going On In My Mouth? ~ ~
Apparently, if plaque builds up around the gum line and then hardens into tartar it can cause the gum to soften, leading to bleeding and, more significantly, a higher risk of gingivitis (inflamed gums) or periodontitis, which is the inflammation and infection of the ligaments and bones that support the teeth.
Basically, what my dentist was trying to say was that if I wanted to keep my teeth I needed to lose the plaque.
~ ~ But I Brush My Teeth Twice A Day And Use A Good Toothpaste ~ ~
That may be so. But conventional toothbrushes, while fine for the front and back of the teeth, perhaps, cannot adequately get at the plaque that's building up BETWEEN your teeth. And while the chemical properties of certain toothpastes might aid in preventing the build up of plaque and tartar, they're unlikely to be as effective as a good scrub. This is where Tepe Interdental Brushes come in handy, although the fact is that you don't need to "scrub" at all. They reach where your ordinary brush won't. And even if your ordinary brush CAN reach, it probably cannot scrape away the plaque like the interdental brush can do.
Tepe Interdental Brushes, regularly used, allow you to control the build up of plaque and tartar, as you can use them to brush between your teeth, especially close to the gum line.
They are fine for implants, recommended for crowns and suitable for using with orthodontic appliances.
~ ~ What Are They Like And How Do I Use Them? ~ ~
Tepe Interdental Brushes are small filaments of wire, covered in plastic that you can push between the spaces of your teeth, before or after you use your conventional brush, or indeed at any other time. Each has a plastic, ergonomically designed handle that allows you to get a good grip between forefinger and thumb. If your teeth are particularly sensitive, you might want to run the brush under the warm tap first. Push the interdental brush GENTLY backwards and forwards a few times in the spaces between your teeth and most particularly along the gum line. You might want to keep a separate one for your back teeth. You can bend the brush slightly on this one to get at the spaces more easily. Don't keep bending them backwards and forwards, otherwise the filaments will weaken and might break. There's no need to use toothpaste with them, although Tepe do produce a gel that you can employ if you wish.
You might notice your gums bleeding at first, but that's only a sign of why you need to use them in the first place. They will get better and stronger with regular use. You will also be surprised at how much food debris you dislodge. As we're not hamsters and most of us have kitchen cupboards to store our food in, it's best to get rid of this stuff as it can't be doing our teeth any good, can it?
~ ~ But My Teeth Are Packed Quite Close Together ~ ~
Yes, your teeth might indeed be close together in places and further apart in others. That's why the fiendishly clever people at Tepe have created a basic range of nine, colour coded brushes in different sizes, ranging from 0.4 mm to 1.5 mm. The chances are that you will need to use at least two different sizes of brush to suit your teeth. You can buy multi-packs that contain all the sizes so that you can experiment and find out which ones suit your teeth best.
Bear in mind that interdental brushes are not necessarily an alternative to flossing. Flossing is a "faff", but it does allow an up and down motion that the interdental brush does not and may be better for removing plaque in certain circumstances.
~ ~ Cost and Availability ~ ~
You can buy Tepe brushes in packs of six and currently E-Chemist.co.uk seems to be offering the best deal at £3.30 with free delivery. One brush could last from a few days, to a week or two, depending on how you use them, but you will start to notice the filaments wearing after a time and then you should discard them.
~ ~ What If I Have Very Sensitive Teeth And Gums? ~ ~
In addition to the basic range, Tepe now do an Extra Soft Brush for those with particularly sensitive gums.
These are available in five sizes, 0.5 mm to 1.1 mm and are differently colour coded.
~ ~ Yes I Tried These Once, But I Can't Get At All My Teeth ~ ~
Did you know that they also have a Proximal range, which are coded and sized in the same way, but have slightly longer handles for reaching further into the mouth, if required?
They also do an angled brush with an even longer handle and a brush that is set, obviously, at an angle, which allows better access to places the other brushes cannot reach.
~ ~ How Do I Keep Them Clean When They're In The Bathroom Cabinet? ~ ~
A pack of brushes will come with a small plastic sheath to cover the brush in current use. In addition to the brushes, Tepe offer a brush holder for your bathroom cabinet and a travel case, so it's a pretty well thought through system.
So anyway, the dentist explained all this to me and gave me a couple of brushes to take away and try. I was a good boy, did as I was told and last time I went to see him there were encouraging grunts from behind the mask. I could definitely sense a lighter touch in the way he stabbed at my gums with the sharp, pointy things. Sure enough, using Tepe interdental brushes had made a significant difference in keeping down the plaque.
Not such a profuse bleeder after all.
I've always had probems keeping on the right side of my dentist's hygienists - always being told off for not having cleaned well enough, and struggling with bleeding gums. The problem was I just could not get my head around flossing - nothing in a million years would encourage or enable me to take (essentially) a bit of cotton, tie it between my fingers then scrape in between my teeth with it - (even typing about it now is making my toes curl!!) So eventually I had to confess this, and it was then that the hygienist asked me if I had ever tried these Tepe brushes.
My initial reaction (inwardly ...I didn't say it to her!) was no, I've never tried them, and no, no way, I won't be trying them because it seemed to me like flossing by another name. But, whilst she had me defenceless in the dentists chair, she offered to show me how to use them and how great they were (!). So cringeing with every fibre of my body she set about popping the bristles into the gaps between my teeth. Amazingly, it didn't freak me out and she gave me one to take home with me.
Since that day I have truly become a convert. The first one she used was a pink, the smallest, but my cabinet now also has blue, red and yellow.
The brushes are colour-coded according to the size, so it's important to be kitted out with the appropriate range depending on the various size of gaps between your teeth. You should always use the biggest one according to the size of the gap, because the aim of the brush is that it gets into the gap and cleans thoroughly between the tooth and the gum. The hygienist advised me that I should use the brushes after every meal, but I didn't keep that up (sorry!) and I use them morning and evening prior to brushing my teeth.
They consist of tiny thin wire, which is just about rigid, covered in tiny white bristles, which are themselves quite soft - hence the 'bottle brush' analogy, so often used by the hygienist at our surgery. The wire can be bent to help you to reach towards the back teeth but if it is bent accidentally it's also possible to bend back so that it's good as new. The plastic 'handle' of the brush itself is about 1.5 - 2cm long and the brush/bristles part about the same. In a pack you get 6 brushes of the same colour, and one plastic cover. This is so that you can pop it in your bag to take out with you and it keeps it clean for when you need it. Ideally each brush would have its own cover because by the end of the pack I have always managed to lose it, but I guess that's a cost issue for the manufacturer, and a taking better care of things issue on my part! The brushes can each last me 2-4 weeks, depending on what colour/how much I use them. For instance I only have 1 gap for the biggest brush so have only ever bought one pack of those so far in 6 months!! For the cost (around £6 a pack) it always annoys me to buy them, as I would rather spend my money on nicer things than dental care! But on the whole they represent good value for what they are - I have tried Superdrug and Boots own brand and neither felt as well made or were as easy to use as the Tepe ones.
Despite my anti-floss prejudice, I am 100% a convert to these Tepe brushes. I never leave home without one because if I do, I guarantee I will eat something that gets stuck in my teeth, and there's nothing worse!
Best of all, my hygienist tells me she can see the results, and from my point of view I certainly have less trouble with bleeding gums. So, a win all round despite my fears.
The Tepe brush is a little device that can be used instead of flossing. I find it much easier personally, and here is the review:
The cost of these things can be a bit steep, around 5 or so for £10 or sometimes more depending on where you get them from. They also come in a variety of sizes (you should always go for the largest size that fits between the gaps in your teeth). These brushes are based on bottle brushes, and they are a little "wire" brush with a plastic tap at the end. Holding the plastic tab, you simply place the brush in and then out of the gaps between your teeth, and wash of any debris that comes out.
Furthermore, to help with the back teeth, the wire can be "bent", so you can go around corners, and get to gaps at the back of the mouth.
The sizes are colour coded, but all I know is that I am a size pink, the smallest size.
These tepe brushes are not so brilliant if you have gum pockets, due to gum disease. This is because these brushes are not really designed to clean underneath the gum. For that I can recommend looking at vision brushes.
These brushes also are designed to not "stab" if you catch your gums with them. The wire inside them is "soft" and its tip is also coated with little bristles. However as a result, they do not last as long as "stiffer metal" brushes. However I have tried a stiffer metal brush, and believe me when I say this, these are much better, you can actually fit them in tight gaps, and it doesn't hurt when you put them in and out.
Overall then, these are a really good set of interdental brushes, but they are a bit pricey. If you have active gum disease, look at vision brushes, which are exactly the same, but the brushes are curved, allowing you to clean under the gums. There are also wisdom brushes which are really good as well, but these have larger plastic tabs to hold onto, so you may find these easier to use. I hope to put reviews on the other types of brushes soon. The only disadvantage I see with them is not being able to clean very well below the gums, as well as the price
I got these after my dentist recommended them, I used to use just floss but he suggested these would be better. My teeth are reasonably healthy, I do have the odd filling but I haven't had a new filling in a while, but I do have quite a fear of the dentist, so anything to avoid extra trips to the dentist I'm all for giving a go.
Interdental brushes are designed to poke in between your teeth and clean out any plaque or bits of food that is stuck in there. Normal brushing doesn't reach into these areas of your teeth and a build up of plaque can lead to decay and fillings! These interdental brushes are made by TePe and they come in a variety of sizes ranging from 0.4mm to 1.3mm, the size refers to the width of the brush and you should choose a size that fits snuggley between your teeth but is not too tight, if you are unsure what size to choose then your dentist of hygienist can recommend a size to you.
The brushes come in different colours, with one colour for each size. There is a handle bit that is made of coloured plastic and is flat on both sides. I tend to hold the interdental brush between my thumb and forefinger, the handle gives you a good grip of the brush. The brush part is made of a plastic coated metal wire with bristles all along the length of it, they do look a bit scary when you first get them but don't be afraid!
To use the interdental brush you just need to slide it carefully in between your teeth, you shouldn't have to push them too hard and if you feel alot of resistance then you either have the wrong size or are pushing it in at the wrong angle. The brush bit is very flexible so you can bend it different ways to be able to fit it in between all the teeth in your mouth, with different teeth you may have to put the brush at a different angle. To clean out the space between your teeth you need to move the brush back and forth a couple of times, it is not necessary to scrub between your teeth as this my cause inflammation in your gums. You may notice bleeding for a short while when you start using the brushes, this is ok and as long as it settles down it is nothing to worry about. If it doesn't, again it might mean you are using the wrong sized brush or you are scrubbing too hard!
I have been using these for about 6 months now and at first they did kinda hurt but that has really settled down now and I do feel that I have gotten a lot of benefit out of them. I have tried other types of interdental brushes from tescos and I have found them to not be as good as the TePe ones, the wires on the brush bit bent far too easily and I wasn't able to clean in between my teeth as well with them. So I am now due my next dental check up so the real test will be if my dentist notices a difference in my teeth, fingers crossed!
I take good pride in keeping my teeth nice and clean. It takes time and commitment each and every day, but it is worth it in the short term and the long term (I hope). I have tried many different tooth pastes, tooth brushes, mouth washes and methods of flossing. Unfortunately a couple of my teeth are quite close together so I found it hard to get in between them without snapping the floss. It mystified me how I could ever correct that problem, so I asked the dentist next time I was there. The dentist pulled out these TePes and gave me a few to try at home, after showing me how to use them.
The TePe's come in varying widths, and to be honest I guess it is just trial and error to see which one you need for your teeth. Too small and they won't dig all the dirt out, and too big and they won't make it in the gap. Each thickness is represented by a different colour.
Tepe's are like floss except they are thin tiny sticks, on the end of a handle, which you can clench easily between two of your fingers. They are like a toothpick, just much much smaller. You would have thought that anything that thin would snap when you are trying to use one, but they are much less flimsy than floss and I have never had one snap or break on me. It would be quite dangerous if they snapped as they could be quite sharp.
The idea is that you poke them in between your teeth and then slide them up or down as you would with floss. They are incredibly easy to use and very effective, in fact there are no other solutions on the market, so they are very valuable to the world of clean teeth!
My dentist advided my to use these as I had plaque between my teeth and found flossing to be painful and more centres on the gums. TePe brushes come in a variety of sizes, each having a different thickness of brush. I have found that the best ones are the orange 0.45mm ones. They fit snugly between the teeth but still give enough room to manouvre them and remove stubborn plaque.
The brushes are designed to be small and compact, and for this reason are very easy to carry around. They can be bent in order to fit in more difficult areas. The stem of the brush is comprised of tiny bristles which work to clean plaque and debris between any gaps between the teeth. The brushes also come with a protective sheath so they can be hygienicly stored either in a washbag or by the sink. I tend to use mine at least once a week. I know I should use them more but it seems like I don't have the time. Once they have been used thoroughly the mouth feels very clean, almost like after receiving a deep clean treatment from the dentist and the brushes are gentle so cause no pain or bleeding. I would definitely recommend TePe brushes as part of a normal dental routine.
As part of my new dental hygiene regime I decided to give TePe Interdental brushes a go, to use alongside my dental floss. An Interdental brush is designed specifically to clean the spaces in between your teeth, but they are not the same as dental floss, they do not go up and down the side of the tooth, but instead focus on the area of the tooth that are adjacent to the gum, so it is something you should use as well as dental floss and not instead of. Gum care is almost certainly just as important as tooth care and it is never too late to start looking after them.
***Who are TePe***
TePe are a leading Swedish manufacturer since 1965 of high quality oral hygiene products . TePe dental products are used by dentists and hygienists in 50 different countries and are well known today for their interdental brushes.
***what is an interdental brush?***
Basically an interdental brush is a small brush on the end of a plastic handle that can be held between your thumb and fingers used to clean the spaces in between your teeth that your toothbrush can't access, kind of like a small toothbrush that enables you to brush in between your teeth. The interdental brush comes in various sizes because the gaps in between your teeth are also various sizes and one size may not be suitable to fit comfortably in between all of your teeth, so it may be necessary to use more than one size of interdental brush for more effective cleaning.
***Why use Interdental brushes?***
It is universally acknowledged that we need to clean our teeth every day, but it is also known that the toothbrush has difficulty cleaning the spaces in between your teeth which leaves them open to the development of plaque and other nasties, which can lead to gum disease and decay. The interdental brush is designed to fit snugly inside these interdental cavities in between your teeth to help eliminate food debris and plaque. Much the same as we are told to brush our teeth twice a day, we should also clean in between our teeth twice a day. Cleaning in between our teeth ensures that we are cleaning our mouths as thoroughly as possible.
***what does it say on the pack***
On the back of my pack of interdental brushes it states;
"Regular use of interdental brushes reduces the build up of plaque and food debris that can lead to gum disease, bad breath and tooth decay. Tepe interdental brushes are specially designed to clean effectively between the teeth and in difficult to reach areas. They come in several colour coded sizes as most people may need more than one colour/size for optimal cleaning in difficult areas"
Well I think that about sums up what they are and why we should use them, but are they really effective?
==How to Use==
Before using your interdental brush, I recommend rinsing with warm water. Rule number 1 of using interdental brushes is that you shouldn't force the brush into the space. If it doesn't fit first time, then try a different angle, as the brush may be hitting the sides of your teeth. If you've tried a few different angles and it still doesn't fit then you will probably need to try a smaller/finer brush. When inserting in between your teeth, turn the brush gently and then move the brush backwards and forwards a few times using a gentle motion, much the same as you would a toothbrush, removing any food debris lodged in the interdental gap. Repeat the process with each individual space until your are satisfied that the spaces between your teeth are clean. The one thing I find with these brushes is you can't be aggressive with them, always use a gentle motion when brushing. Scrubbing will also shorten the life of the brush, meaning you will have to replace it more regularly.
The recommendation is to use a separate brush for your back teeth, usable only with your back teeth, and a separate brush for your teeth at the front.
The brush itself has a plastic coated metal wire in the centre which is what the bristles are attached to. This is somewhat flexible, and will automatically bend should you hit your tooth or gum so as to prevent any damage to the gum itself. You should flex the wire into a banana shape for cleaning the back teeth, whilst leaving it horizontal for cleaning the front teeth. Be careful not to bend the wire continuously as this can cause the wire to fracture which could lead to injury.
The beauty of the interdental brush is you don't specifically have to use it at the same time you brush your teeth, you can use it anywhere at any time (although I do recommend that you use it at the same time you brush your teeth - means you don't forget and your mouth gets a thorough cleanse twice a day). The brushes are small enough to carry around in your handbag and in there is a cover included inside the pack to protect the brush head.
***How often should the brush be changed***
Interdental brushes are the same as toothbrushes, you should change them when worn and depending on how often their used and how many teeth they are used for will depend on how long they last. I find that the 0.6mm brushes are a suitable size for pretty much all of my teeth and so I only get 3-4 days usage out of them which when considering you get 6 brushes in each pack works out at 18-24 days, so I find I have to buy a couple of packs to last me a month.
You should always rinse the brush after use by gently rubbing the bristles under warm water using your fingers to rub up and down the bristles removing any debris left on them. After rinsing, store the brush in a cool dry place.
I have found that the brushes are very easy to use, and have made such a difference to my oral hygiene. I guess you don't realise how much debris gets caught in between your teeth and it's often not visible to the naked eye. Using the brushes I've seen the visible signs of food debris dislodging from in between my teeth and ending up in the sink. When I first started using them I did notice that I had a slight problem with bleeding gums, especially when it came to cleaning in between my molars, but this was just due to inflammation in my gums caused by plaque build up, so don't be alarmed if when you remove the brush it is coated red, this should subside if you use the brushes regularly as the brushes are eradicating the problem itself which is the plaque build up.
The brushes are gentle and I don't feel any discomfort at all when I use them, and it just feels completely natural to me now to use them as part of my daily cleaning process. You don't need to use toothpaste with them, in fact it's recommended that you don't as it is abrasive, but you can buy special interdental gel with fluoride to use with the brushes which I have not invested in as I find the brushes are find to use just on their own with warm water. When I use mouthwash, I can feel it moving in between my teeth whereas before I couldn't so they have certainly made a difference. I'm really glad now that my dentist had a little pop at me last time I was there, as I didn't realise what tools were out there for cleaning your teeth and I naively thought that a simple brush and mouthwash twice a day was sufficient for keeping your mouth in tip top shape, and not just your teeth but your gums too.
Interdental brushes unfortunately are another one of those dental hygiene tools that are a little on the expensive side with a pack of 6 costing £3 - although with the VAT rise it looks as though they've gone up to £3.06, so for a full months' worth of brushes you're looking at spending just over £6...but then you have to think about the alternative costs...decaying teeth, poor gum condition and large dentist bills, in my opinion, these are totally worth the cost, and I'm sure most dental hygienists would recommend their use.
==Do I recommend?==
If you're looking to improve your oral hygiene then yes, I do recommend these interdental brushes. Some people however may find that flossing is sufficient enough to clean out these interdental gaps. In my experience I have found the flossing alone just doesn't do it for me and this extra step gives me a greater sense of satisfaction that I am taking care of my mouth in the best way possible. The brushes are recommended by UK dental professionals and are British dental health foundation approved, so that's a good enough recommendation for me.
My mouth has proven to be a popular place for teeth and I have too many resident there at present. They don't seek to be dropping out yet, so the overcrowding continues.
One issue with this is that teeth can go a little bit crooked and if a new one comes through into a space not previously fully vacated, it does as best it can and elbows its way in. You can end up with a row of teeth that looks like a badly parked row of cars in the Tesco car park.
As a consequence, you can get an assortment of gaps between teeth, with others squeezed up tight. This makes me sound a bit freakish in the tooth department but it isn't really unsightly nor particularly noticeable - it just makes me have to take more care with my tooth brushing regimen.
Keeping our cracks and crevices clean is essential if we are to avoid problems further on down the line and I was keen to avoid being berated by the overly officious dental hygienist at the local practice. I take no pleasure from this, but I believe she does.
A couple of years ago, the aforementioned dominatrix advised that in order to prevent the build-up of plaque and to ensure good mouth hygiene, I should use these little interdental brushes. I was told which size I would need and given instruction on their use. Fearing the consequences of ignoring her advice, I decided that compliance was the sensible option.
Sure enough, it was good to be able to get at gaps and dislodge food particles that I didn't know were trapped there. Basically, you use these tiny bottle brush things to saw between your teeth. They dislodge bits of food and plaque which you can then eat or discard as the fancy takes you. They come in a variety of sizes which are colour coded so that you buy and use the right size.
I have to keep different sizes in stock because I have gaps of different diameters, so I have little pink ones for the front teeth and big green ones for the back teeth.
Because these tiny brushes are mounted on flexible wire, you can shape them to suit the unique contours of your own top and bottom set and this is what makes them so handy to have. The pack I have before me is an 8 pack. I got them from the dentist, but you can now buy these in most chemists under this and other brand names and conceivably a bit cheaper too.
What is also handy is that you get in each 8 pack a little plastic protective cylinder in which to keep the brush you are currently using. This makes it easy to slip it into your pocket and take it with you to work. Useful for removing those bits of lettuce that seem to find a home right there at the front where everyone can notice them - except you - until 5 hours later.
I think these interdental brushes are great and if you use them frequently you do keep nice clear gaps between your teeth, but I think you also risk wearing away the sides of your teeth, leaving potentially bigger gaps. It's not a huge problem at present, though I have gone up a size at the front. I suppose I should be thankful to still have a full set in place.
For a bloke with big hands, these tiny brushes are a bit fiddly to manoeuvre inside your mouth, especially at the back.
They do last quite a long time, if you are not too ruthless in using them and for me one pack of eight lasts me between dentist's visits.
So how often do you do it? Once a month? Once a week? Maybe once a day, or are you so damn good you manage it twice a day? Hmm? Well nowadays, I am quite proud of myself because I do it every night without fail. Teeth flossing is not a very pleasa...hey, stop making your own jokes! As I was saying, teeth flossing is not a very pleasant activity with which to round off the day, but I have found the perfect solution.
Each visit to the dentist always used to end with a lecture on how I must floss regularly. But I hated it. It always seemed to take me so long to do, and the only thing I was rewarded with was bleeding gums.
So, it was when I changed to a different dental practice that the hygienist introduced me to the interdental brush. This meant that I would never have to use dental floss again'. Was this too good to be true?
So, after handing over the ghastly amount of money that dentists charge these days, I hotfooted it to my local chemist and treated myself to some TePe Interdental Brushes.
Ok, now onto the serious bit:-
>>> SO WHAT ARE INTERDENTAL BRUSHES USED FOR? <<<
Basically, these are ideal for people who do not like flossing - i.e. ME!
The reason we are advised to floss regularly is to remove debris from between the teeth, hence promoting healthy teeth and gums. If debris is left in between the small spaces between each tooth, it quite often leads to gingivitis which, to you and me, means gum disease. This causes the gums to bleed very easily, especially when being prodded by a dental de-scaler, or crochet hook as I like to call them. The interdental brushes simply do the job of dental floss or tape, but if your gums are already sensitive and bleed easily, the brushes tend to be a lot gentler and the bleeding is greatly reduced.
>>> WHAT EXACTLY ARE THEY? <<<
Imagine a miniature bottle brush and this will give you a picture of what the interdental brushes look like. The brush itself consists of a piece of wire running through the centre of a row of fine bristles and, as I mentioned earlier, it really does resemble a bottle brush. The wire is covered with a plastic coating so that it can be used around metal fillings. Each brush comes with an easy grip handle of a particular colour, depending on which size brush you us. I will explain more about this later in the review. Each pack of brushes contains an extension handle for use if you need to reach those awkward back teeth. This handle has a double purpose as it also acts as a protective casing to keep the brush clean when not in use.
>>> HOW ARE THEY USED? <<<
To clean between the front teeth, the brush should be inserted between the tiny space between the teeth and positioned just over the gum. The brush should then be manoeuvred backwards and forwards a few times, very gently, and at the risk of providing you with TOO much information, the plaque and gunk is collected at the base of the brush.
To clean between the back teeth, the brush can easily be curved at a 90 degree angle for easy access. It is vital that this does form a curve rather than a sharp angle to prevent damage to the brush.
After each use, the brush should be rinsed in water, and I always leave mine out to dry overnight before inserting it back into the protective casing.
It is advisable to change to a new brush every few days, which is easily done as each pack contains six brushes.
>>> ARE THEY AVAILABLE IN DIFFERENT SIZES? <<<
Yes. In all, there are eight different sized brushes.
* Pink - xxxx fine
* Orange - xxx fine
* Red - xx fine
* Blue - x fine
* Yellow - fine
* Green - medium
* Purple - large
* Grey - x large
The manufacturer suggests that, for maximum effect, different sized brushes are used for various teeth as the gaps between our teeth vary. For example, it will do you no good using an xxx fine brush between a large gap. I must admit that I am guilty in not following this advice and just use the red xx fine brush. It does work well for the majority of my teeth but I do have a couple of teeth which are extremely close together and, if using the brushes properly, I should be using either a pink or orange brush in this region. A smack on the hand for me!
>>> AND MOST IMPORTANTLY - DO THEY WORK? <<<
They definitely work for me. I visited the dentist three months ago for a scale and polish and my gums bled quite badly. Since then, I have used the interdental brushes once a day, and when I went for another cleaning session with the hygienist two weeks ago, she commented on how much my gums had improved and the bleeding had greatly reduced. I was so pleased as I have suffered from bleeding gums for as long as I can remember.
>>> SO WHERE FROM AND HOW MUCH? <<<
Most chemists sell interdental brushes and a lot of dentists, including my own, will sell a pack to you. However, I bought a pack of 6 from Boots for £2.99, which is money well spent in my opinion.
>>> AND FINALLY, WOULD I RECOMMEND THEM? <<<
Definitely. I have tried a few different products such as mouth washes, different toothbrushes, to calm my gums down, but TePe interdental brushes is the only thing that has made such a dramatic improvement. I would certainly recommend these to anyone who has a problem with bleeding gums, and believe me, it is a lot less hassle and time consuming than using dental floss.
So wave goodbye to the dental floss and tape, and say hello to TePe. Who knows, maybe you can do it every night too!
THANKS FOR READING - AND HAPPY BRUSHING!
(also on Ciao : matthewsmum)
Tepe Interdental brushes come is eight tuft sizes enabeling you to get to those tiny hard to reach spaces between your teeth and lettijng you get inbetween braces and in larger gaps. The brushes are colour coded for ease of identification. You get eight brushes in one pack - usually of one coulor but you are able to get mixed packs from some Dental Surgerys. They also come with a white holder which doubles up as a lid for the brush that is in current use. Tepe have recently just upgraded these brushes so they are more felxible around the necks and a lot softer too. I personally use the pink (which is the smallest size) and the orange (the next size up) as my spaces are quite small. When I had my braces on I also used the yellow and blue as well because I found they got inbetween the brackets well and gave a good clean. I still use floss with these brushes - some people don't but personally I think they do not allow for cleaning below the gum line which floss does. All in all they are a good addition to any dental care reigme and these are definatly the best interdental brushes out there.
TePe Interdental brushes have a unique construction, which ensures consistent quality, size and durability /