In Life

Perfect visits to the dentist: My secret weapon is an interdental brush

For those of you who are freaks about your teeth like I am, read on.

See, I normally have pretty good teeth when I go to see a dentist. I never really stay in the chair long, and unless there’s a time where I KNOW I was not brushing and flossing regularly, I tend to not come out with a lot of problems.

(Never had a cavity in my life either.)

Even with my regular brushing and flossing, I tend to spit out a bit of blood in the sink when I rinse at the dentist, and I always had a TINY bit of gingivitis.

Today? Zip.

Nothing at all.

Not a single hint of pink in the sink.

How? Because ever since I started using these interdental brushes in November 2012, they have significantly improved my gum health (I sound like a spokesperson but I swear, I am not being compensated for this).

interdental-brushes

Even though I am diligent most of the time, those interdental brushes get out the remaining gunk that is hidden between my teeth, even after flossing. Flossing did not get rid of all the food in between my teeth, which I suspect is the reason behind why I still had small cases of gingivitis at times.


I am totally, 100% amazed.

My visit only took 20 minutes instead of the usual 45!! It saved me about $80.

So here is the rule:

As often as you can, brush, floss & use interdental picks IMMEDIATELY after eating.

That’s it.

If you brush regularly, floss, and use those interdental picks for your gums, you will notice the spaces between your teeth will stay clean and open, and your gums a nice healthy pink.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I don’t use toothpaste either. I stopped about 5 years ago, and my teeth have been better off without toothpaste. If I feel like I really need to scrub them clean, I use a bit of baking soda, but … truth be told, I don’t even bother with that.

Much like laundry detergent (unless you’re washing greasy towels or dirty diapers), it is pretty much unnecessary in my opinion.

teeth-smile-woman-lips-lipstick-makeup

It isn’t just about your teeth either.

If you have a clean set of chompers, you can not only prevent gum disease and losing all your real teeth before the age of 50 (the fake stuff never feels the same), but it also helps your overall health such as helping with weight loss, and reducing diseases.

Your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body, if the door isn’t clean, imagine what it’s dragging in, down into your organs?

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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13 Comments

  1. Cliff

    where can you buy the thick ones?

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I go to Jean Coutu or shoppers drug mart

      Reply
  2. Lila

    Isn’t baking soda harsh on the teeth? Why did you stop using toothpaste. What about food that is heavily flavored like Italian food? How do you get rid of the strong flavors from your mouth? Do you avoid strong flavored food as much as possible?

    Do you use mouthwash? Please reply…I’m always having issues with my teeth so any knowledge would be beneficial for me. Thank you.

    Reply
  3. NZ Muse

    Intriguing!

    Just went to the dentist today but am definitely going to need to look after my gums better. I read this post a few days ago – had literally never heard of these things before – and then spotted them in the cabinet at the dentist reception. I doubt I have space between my teeth/gums to use these, but I’m definitely interested enough to give them a go.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      There are smaller interdental brushes. I honestly find gunk wedged in there that my floss misses.

      Reply
  4. Minty

    I think it’s great that you’re using interdental brushes because it is a great tool for those gaps in between teeth.

    But a word of advice for readers of this blog.
    Not everyone can use interdental brushes, simply because not everyone has gaps large enough to fit even the smallest brushes. And you would never want to force them through in between if they are too tight or don’t fit. Doing so can cause irreversible damage to the gums and lead to unnecessary recession in between the teeth, causing gaps in between the teeth to get even larger. The interdental brushes were designed as an additional tool for interproximal cleaning for patients with periodontitis or a history of horizontal bone loss as a result of gum disease. Since then, they have been used for cleaning in between spaced teeth, bridges, implants, orthodontic appliances etc…

    So use them in conjunction to floss, but never as a replacement.
    Also if the floss feels like it’s not enough, try doubling up on the floss first and see how that goes. And of course check that you are flossing correctly.

    In summary, it is not bad to use interdental brushes. It is in fact a really useful tool and I recommend it to my patients all the time, but just check with the dentist or hygienist if it’s right for you . You may not actually need it.

    From an avid reader who just happens to be an oral health therapist.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Yes! Thank you for clarifying.

      I floss, use the brushes then brush my teeth. As for the brushes, there are smaller brushes you can buy because BF has that problem — he cannot use the ones I use.

      THANK YOU!

      Reply
  5. Alicia

    My biggest game-changer on the tooth front has been the electric toothbrush. I always took good care of my teeth, but my dentist always had the scolding “floss more” thing. Since I got the electric toothbrush, it feels like every day is a perfect “fresh from the dentist” feel.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Ditto. I use the electric toothbrush rather than a manual one and my teeth are great.

      Reply
  6. Irene

    I’m terrified of the dentist – I actually fainted in the dentist chair because the hygenist was trying to scare me with tales of gum rot, tooth decay, and sudden death. They charged me for fainting too! They needed 30 minutes to make sure I was ok and called in a whole troop of dentist and hygenists to take my blood pressure and fan me. Never felt so ridiculous in my life!
    Thanks for the tip though. find that the waxed floss works a lot better than the flimsy glide products. But this would be great for those hard to reach spots in the back too.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      If you are scared of the dentist like I am, it’s even more of a reason to take care of your teeth with these brushes if you can use them so that you spend as little time and money as possible.

      Reply
  7. neurosciency

    thanks for this post! flossing never gets all the “gunk” out of my teeth either. i usually end up using one of those floss picks and then floss. i may have to check out the interdental brush…i hate when my dentist yells at me, haha.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      After I floss, I use those interdental brushes and I get crap out of the gaps of my teeth.

      Reply

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