Product Type: Molar Oral Care
Newest Review: ... 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 a... more
Goody Goody Gum Brush
Molar TePe Interdental Brush
Member Name: Biskey
Molar TePe Interdental Brush
Advantages: Good range. Easy to use. They work.
Disadvantages: None, except an extra expense, but worth it.
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.
Summary: Interdental brushes make a significant contribution to oral hygiene.
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