January 28, 2016
Some dental patients have specific oral hygiene needs that require special tools used as compliments to a regular toothbrush. As you might have noticed, there is a wide array of special brushes available on the market. All these options can be confusing and a bit overwhelming. Two of the more popular brushes are sulcular and interspace toothbrushes. The unique designs are different and serve specific purposes in oral hygiene. When used as directed, these tools make cleaning teeth even easier. So here is a breakdown of the sulcular and interspace toothbrushes: what they are, their basic shape, and when to use them.
These specialized brushes are designed for cleaning the sulcular areas just below the gumline (gingival margins) and other hard-to-reach areas of the mouth. These brushes are also called implant or orthodontic brushes. They are soft, but effective at clearing away harmful dental, specifically around gingival sulcus. Gingival sulcus is the possible space between the tooth and surrounding gingival tissue (gums). Abnormal depth of the gingival sulcus creates a periodontal pocket where plaque accumulates. The plaque causes irritation, and can lead to gingivitis or periodontitis. If you have gum disease, or sensitive gums, brushing can be painful and cause extra damage to the soft tissues. This is where the sulcular toothbrush can help.
Sulcular Toothbrush Shape
This is a small, narrow brush with an extra-long, thin neck. It often has a tapered, and sometimes curved brush head. The head has two rows of linear, ultrasoft bristles. The most effective bristles taper to a very fine, rounded point. They also have an ultra-fine diameter, allowing the bristles to reach as deeply as 2.75 mm into the pockets along the gumline. These brushes have a reduced contact area and are also extra gentle. They help prevent further damage to already sensitive or inflamed gums.
When Do I Use a Sulcular Toothbrush?
If you have gum disease, anything from the early stages of gingivitis to the more serious periodontal infection, your dentist might recommend you try a sulcular toothbrush. Especially if gum disease is a recurring problem. Most dentists advise patients to use the brush together with a regular toothbrush and other inter-dental cleaning aids. This ensures a complete clean to help prevent future gum problems.
A regular toothbrush won’t always reach every part of your mouth that needs cleaning. This is especially true for patients with extensive dental restorations. The materials in most restorations do not decay, but neighboring teeth and surrounding tissue still can. As such, cleaning around dental work is vastly important, but it isn’t always easy. Restorations can form tight spaces that need special attention. Interspace toothbrushes can help sweep around those areas, giving you a more precise clean.
Interspace Toothbrush Shape
Do not confuse interspace with interdental toothbrushes. The interspace brush is small and angled, with a pointed tuft. It has a slim, unique design to facilitate cleaning in even the narrowest places. The interchangeable head can often be secured to either side of the toothbrush handle, so patients can choose different angles. Bristles often come in extra-soft, soft, and medium firmness. The filaments are rounded and ensure gentle cleaning.
When Do I Use an Interspace Toothbrush?
Most interspace toothbrushes fit tightly around crowns, bridges, implants, orthodontics, and other types of dental work. The dentist might recommend them for furcations and tiny spaces between teeth. Professionals also recommend these brushes for cleaning wisdom teeth or the distal surface of back molars. You might even consider the pointed tuft of this brush to help clean around the brackets and wires of braces.
If you think you need to use a specialized toothbrush, or have questions about using one, always consult with your dental professional. They can tell you which tools will work best for your needs, as well as advise you on proper technique to produce optimal results.