Thanks to the rise of environmentally friendly initiatives many new bio-degradable products for the dental and oral care industry. However we are still in the infant stages with wooden and bamboo toothbrushes slowly entering the market to curve plastic waste.
That said many have been wondering if interdental brushes will get the same environmentally friendly treatment as they are used just as much as toothbrushes are.
While toothbrushes are important, did you know that they are only able to clean 60% of the tooth surfaces, this means many of the hard-to-reach places develop plaque. Thankfully, interdental brushes are changing how people clean their teeth today and remove issues with plaque in between the teeth.
But while interdental brushes have now made it easy for people to clean between their teeth, the question we keep getting is whether one can reuse interdental brushes and if they are recyclable.
Read on as we have made some attempts to answer this question. But before we dive in further, let’s give you an overview of interdental brushes.
Why interdental brushes are important to oral hygiene?
As we reiterated earlier, interdental brushes are designed to clean hard-to-reach areas. Areas where your regular toothbrush cannot access. Because of their unique design, interdental brushes help to remove food, plaques and bacteria from in-between the teeth.
While dentists always recommend that we clean in between the teeth, we can’t seem to achieve that using a regular brush. But with an interdental brush to the rescue, you can expect to dislodge plaques, bacteria, and food remains hiding in between your teeth.
Interdental brushes are mini toothbrushes designed to reach areas your regular toothbrush can’t access. We often like to see an interdental toothbrush as a tiny bottle brush that can clean in between the teeth where plaque can easily develop which can lead to serious health issues.
An interdental toothbrush has a small handle and fine thin wires. Attached to the wire are tiny filaments or brittles. They also have a cap covering the brittles, keeping them clean.
Interdental brushes come in different sizes, shapes and thicknesses that are color-coded to your convenience when it comes to picking the right one for you. Typically people use the softer thin version and move their way up as they get more experienced.
Besides being called interdental brushes, dental professionals also refer to them as interproximal brushes.
How many times can I reuse interdental brushes?
For those wondering whether they can reuse interdental brushes, the answer is a resounding yes. So long as the bristles are still in shape and the wire isn’t bent to prevent gum injury.
That said, these toothbrushes aren’t designed to last as long as your regular brush. While you can use your regular toothbrush for up to 6 months, you can only use an interdental brush for one to two weeks. And it all depends on how you use it.
Best Ways to Reuse Interdental Brushes
There are only a few different ways you can use these brushes before they can be thrown away and recycled
- Cleaning of dentures
- Dental implant cleaning
- Cleaning dental dental bridges
Outside of oral hygiene includes using them for cleaning hard-to-reach places on whatever to need to reach
- Model airplanes and cars
- Could be used as a brush for small modals
The possibilities are depending on your use
Can you recycle interdental brushes?
While Interdental brushes have proven to deliver effective results, especially when it comes to cleaning in between the teeth, there have been some concerns about recycling interdental brushes. Though recycling interdental brushes is possible, you must first separate the brush from the handle, which is made from plastic.
The reason there isn’t a comprehensive recycling program for interdental brushes is that most of the interdental brushes on the market are composed of bristles and plastic and wire, which are hard to break down.
Thankfully, interdental brush manufacturers are making efforts to make their products environmentally friendly. For instance, all the plastic packaging for interdental brushes can be recycled and reused.
While it’s limited to reuse and recycling interdental brushes there have been efforts by companies to make their products bio-degradable to help the environment.
Frequently asked questions
What size of interdental brush should I use?
While interdental brushes will deliver a squeaky clean, it’s always important to use the correct size. If the interdental brush is too small, it may not deliver a good clean. Also, if it is too big, you might have difficulty getting it to clean between your teeth. And should you force it, you might cause more damage, and we are sure you wouldn’t want that.
Here is a rule of thumb. An interdental brush should feel comfortable and fit snuggly when cleaning between your teeth.
To be on the safer side, we recommend using a range of different-sized interdental brushes. While you can use the larger ones to brush the back teeth, you can use the small brushes for your front teeth.
If you’re not particularly sure about which size of interdental brush to use, you can simply ask your oral health professional for the best recommendation.
Where do I get a good interdental brush for my teeth?
You can buy an interdental brush directly from supermarkets and chemists around you. Unfortunately, you may not get the brand you commonly use. If that’s the case, you can simply buy from popular online retail stores like Amazon, Best Buy and others. We are sure you’ll find an interdental brush on these platforms that ticks all your boxes.
Always ensure you pick the right size when shopping for an interdental brush. Opting for the wrong size can cause more damage to your teeth and gums, and nobody wants that.
How do I care for my interdental brush?
Here’s how to ensure the brush serves you for the longest, and its recommended that you clean it after every use and straighten the wire. To keep your interdental brush in great condition, we recommend rinsing it well after use. This would help get rid of any debris. After that, let the brush dry and store it for later use.