How to Use an Interdental Brush With Braces

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Flossing with braces can be difficult because it requires threading the floss above the wire.  Luckily, there is an alternative.  Interdental brushes have small, bristled heads that can be used instead of floss. Read on to learn how to use an interdental brush with braces.  

What is an Interdental Brush?

An interdental brush is a small brush that can be used in place of floss.  Interdental brushes are used to clean the area between two teeth. It has a short, plastic handle on one end. The other end has a piece of wire with lots of tiny bristles. 

Interdental brushes come in different sizes.  The size of the bristles and wire are determined by the size of the tooth gap they fit.  There are also interdental brushes made specifically for people with braces. 

 Are Interdental Brushes Reusable?

Interdental brushes can be used more than once.  Generally, they can be used until the bristles are worn or out of shape.  You do want the bristles to be in good shape when using your brush, so as a rule of thumb, change your interdental brush once a week.  

You should also rinse your interdental brush off with water after every use. This cleans the bristles of food residue and bacteria.  

Benefits of an Interdental Brush With Braces

There are many benefits of using an interdental brush, including the following:

  • Very effective at removing food particles from between teeth.
  • Easier to use than floss for people with braces.
  • Helps prevent gum disease by removing food and plaque from the gumline.
  • Good for those with dexterity issues that cannot use dental floss.
  • Higher rate of compliance vs floss 
  • Safe to use around enamel, gingiva, and orthodontic brackets.

How to Use an Interdental Brush With Braces

Interdental brushes are simple and easy to use.  It is especially important to know how to use an interdental brush with braces. You should plan to use your interdental brush once a day. A good time is in the evening, before you brush your teeth.  

Depending on the size of the gaps between your teeth, you may need to use different sized brushes for your mouth.  

To clean the area between your teeth:

  1. Place the interdental brush at the gumline, near a gap between two teeth. 
  2. At a slight angle, push the interdental brush between the gap.
  3. Use some pressure to push the brush through and then pull it out.  

To clean around brackets and under the wire:

  1. Slide the interdental brush under the wire, near the bracket.  
  2. Using an up and down motion, gently scrub away plaque around the bracket.
  3. Repeat for each tooth.

After using an interdental brush, rinse your mouth out and brush as usual.

Recommended Interdental Brushes

GUM Interdental Brushes come in 5 different sizes – micro tight, moderate, tight, ultra tight, and wide. The brushes are reusable and come with a hygienic cap. The wire is coated and safe for use with orthodontics.  

DenTek Slim Brush Interdental Cleaners come in 3 sizes – micro tight, extra tight, and tight.  The brush has a mouthwash flavor which tastes good and keeps your mouth feeling fresh.    


An interdental brush is a helpful dental tool, particularly for those with braces.  It can be used in place of floss and also to clean under the wire and around brackets.