Amazing! You just came from your dentist and this time you DIDN’T get the “you need to floss more” speech! What gives? I am here to tell you as a dental hygienist that flossing is not recommended in the same way it used to be. You now have the option of a Proxabrush to take its place. But wait, what’s a Proxabrush?
A Proxabrush is a type of interdental brush. I will explain in detail this alternative to floss for cleaning between your teeth. Let’s face it, people are not flossing. Now you have a choice! Most people talk about how they do not like putting their fingers inside their mouths to floss. I get it. It is gross even with the cleanest of hands. We live in a germaphobe-type world and who wants to transmit and spread germs!
I will discuss why cleaning between your teeth is necessary, types of Proxabrushes and proper technique for using them so read on…
People Do Not Like to Floss…
More and more people are seeking alternatives to using standard string floss. Dental professionals want to help individuals meet their home care needs by offering solutions to the lack of flossing. Only half of people floss daily and about one in every five people report not flossing at all.
The majority of people who report not flossing regularly do so for a variety of reasons. These include; lack of dexterity, trouble reaching areas, hands being too large to fit in the mouth or just simply not wanting to place hands inside of the mouth.
A study available on PubMed from the National Society for Biotechnology Information (NSBI) concludes the effectiveness of interdental (between the teeth) cleaning for improving the health of the mouth. This study showed the effectiveness of Proxabrush use being the most effective means of removing plaque and food debris between the teeth versus flossing.
Why You Need to Clean Between Your Teeth
What is the big deal about removing plaque and debris from between our teeth? Why not just leave it there? Good question. There is a lot going on that you may not be aware of if you brush only but ignore the important in between areas of your teeth.
We now know the detrimental effect of dental plaque and biofilm and its role in dental disease and inflammation. By best controlling the amount of plaque, you will be reducing the amount of toxins given off by plaque. Studies show that gum disease is a result of inflammation produced in response to these toxins. You can learn more about gum disease and controlling inflammation in a related article.
Studies show that in addition to brushing, people who used Proxabrushes or oral irrigation devices had promising results. The results showed they were as effective or more effective as standard string floss in removing bacterial plaque and reducing signs of gum disease.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), cleaning between the teeth is essential. The ADA states that interdental cleaning removes plaque and debris from between teeth that can lead to gum disease and cavities. These are areas a toothbrush can’t effectively clean.
Wikipedia states that dental plaque can contain up to 1,000 species of bacteria. Some of these are beneficial to us and some are harmful. It is important to maintain a balance of these bacteria to maintain dental health.
Oral probiotics have been shown to maintain this balance. Probiotics for the mouth will help crowd out the bad bacteria making room for the beneficial bacteria. Effectively cleaning between your teeth will also keep the balance in check to prevent decay (cavities) and periodontal disease (gum disease). Your best chance of doing this is by using the right tool- a Proxabrush!
What’s a Proxabrush?
Proxabrush is a brand name of an interdental brush. It is made by the company Butler GUM. Proxabrush is the #1 selling interdental brush available today and is the most recommended brush by dental professionals. An interdental brush is a hand held tool of varying lengths with a small brush attached to its end for cleaning between your teeth.
The handle can be small in the case of a portable Proxabrush or it can be as long as your toothbrush handle. The longer units are designed for better access for those people who have hard to reach back teeth to clean between. However, the pocket-size versions are more convenient to use and are more popular.
The bristles are soft and flexible and come in different sizes to fit your needs. The smallest brushes are designed for tight spaces or for those who have teeth that are close together. Proxabrushes with wider brushes are good for those who have more room between their teeth. There is also a medium-sized brush and an ultra-tight size for extremely tight teeth.
The brush that works best for you will depend on the size of the spaces between your teeth. Some people have teeth that are close together in one area of the mouth yet wider gaps between other teeth. For these people, having more than one size of Proxabrush on hand is ideal so the different sizes can be used appropriately.
Go-Between Brushes from Butler
I will discuss the Go-Between Proxabrushes in detail. This is the portable pocket-size version of interdental brushes I mentioned previously. This is also the companies most sold product. The top 20 results for ‘Amazon Best Sellers’ include different varieties of the Go-Between Proxabrushes and have been the most purchased and recommended for many years.
Features of Go-Between Proxabrushes:
- An effective way to remove plaque and food debris from between the teeth
- Most recommended product by dental hygienists as an alternative to flossing
- Antibacterial bristles that can be rinsed off and reused
- Brush head contains triangle shaped bristles to remove 25% more particles than other round-bristled products
- Removable cover that has air vents to keep bristles clean and dry
- Variety of sizes to fit your individual needs
Butler GUM Go-Between- Ultra-Tight
Butler GUM Go-Between- Tight
Butler GUM Go-Between- Moderate
Butler GUM Go-Between- Wide
How to Use a Proxabrush
It is recommended to use an interdental Proxabrush to clean in-between your teeth once a day. This can be used in place of traditional floss and should be part of your dental hygiene routine. Proxabrush use is not intended to replace daily brushing so it is important to continue to brush twice a day with a manual or electric toothbrush. An electric toothbrush will remove more bacterial plaque than a manual toothbrush.
Step 1 – Brush your teeth for 2 minutes as you normally would using an electric or manual toothbrush
Step 2 – Choose the correct size Proxabrush interdental brush depending on your needs (size of spaces between teeth)
Step 3 – Without using force, gently slide the brush head between your teeth
Step 4 – Moving in a back and forth type of motion, gently loosen plaque and food debris from between the teeth
Step 5 – Swish with water and spit out to remove any loosened debris
Step 6 – Rinse off the Proxabrush with water, replace cover and allow it to air dry through vented cover
I encourage you to try a Proxabrush for yourself. You will be pleasantly surprised at the ease of their use and how effectively they clean between your teeth. What makes these products so attractive is their portability. You can carry a Go-Between Proxabrush in your purse or pocket for on the go cleaning. You can swap out flossing for this easy to use product.
Now you know what a Proxabrush (interdental brush) is, the different types to chose from, how to use one and the importance of cleaning between your teeth. Next time you need to, try a Proxabrush in place of your floss. Remember… It is not important to clean between all of your teeth…only the ones you wish to keep!
Go to Amazon for the best place to purchase a Proxabrush. Please leave a comment or question below and I would be happy to help.
The information that I provide on my website is not intended to take the place of medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Care and investigation should always be sought from an appropriate health care provider. I am not a doctor and do not claim to be one. I have created this site as a way to share information and experiences only.