Interdental Cleaning: Floss vs. Interdental Brushes (Which is Better?)

In this article, we’ll delve into the comparison between two popular methods: flossing and interdental brushes. Our goal is to provide you with fresh insights into their benefits and assist you in making an informed decision that suits your unique needs.

3. Floss vs Interdental Brushes: Key Differences Comparison and Specs

Interdental Cleaning Floss vs. Interdental Brush

Here are the key differences between dental floss and interdental brushes:

  1. Design: Dental floss is a thin thread, while interdental brushes are small brushes with bristles.
  2. Reachability: Dental floss can reach tight spaces between teeth, while interdental brushes are designed to reach larger gaps.
  3. Ease of Use: Dental floss requires manual dexterity and proper technique, whereas interdental brushes are easier to handle.
  4. Portability: Dental floss is highly portable, making it convenient for travel, whereas interdental brushes are less portable due to their size.
  5. Gum Stimulation: Dental floss provides limited gum stimulation, while interdental brushes offer a massaging effect on the gums, improving blood circulation.
  6. Irritation Risk: Improper use of dental floss may cause gum bleeding, while incorrect use of interdental brushes can lead to gum irritation.

These differences can help you evaluate which tool suits your oral care needs and preferences better.

Here’s a comparison table highlighting the key differences between dental floss and interdental brushes:

Dental FlossInterdental Brushes
DesignThin threadSmall brush with bristles
MaterialNylon or TeflonPlastic, metal, or nylon
Ease of UseRequires dexterityEasy to handle
ReachabilityReaches tight spacesReaches larger gaps
CostAffordableRelatively more expensive
PortabilityHighly portableLess portable
Gum StimulationLimitedProvides massaging effect
Irritation RiskGum bleeding if used improperlyGum irritation if used improperly

4. Which One to Choose?

The choice between dental floss and interdental brushes depends on individual needs and preferences. If you have closely spaced teeth, dental floss may be more suitable, as it can effectively clean between tight spaces. On the other hand, if you have larger gaps between your teeth or dental restorations, interdental brushes offer better access and cleaning.

Consider factors such as ease of use, portability, and gum stimulation when making your decision. Some individuals prefer using both dental floss and interdental brushes, incorporating them into their oral care routine for comprehensive cleaning.

What is Flossing?

Flossing involves the use of a thin nylon string called dental floss to clean those hard-to-reach spaces between your teeth.

Benefits of Flossing

  • Plaque and Debris Removal: Flossing is renowned for its ability to effectively remove plaque and food particles, preventing the formation of tartar and reducing the risk of gum disease.
  • Gum Health: By eliminating plaque and harmful bacteria, flossing promotes healthier gums, helping to minimize inflammation, bleeding, and gum infections.
  • Preventing Bad Breath: Flossing is an excellent way to remove food debris that can contribute to unpleasant breath, leaving your mouth feeling fresh and revitalized.

Research Findings: Numerous studies have consistently demonstrated that regular flossing plays a crucial role in reducing plaque buildup and maintaining optimal gum health.

Interdental Brushes: Reaching Where Floss Can’t

What are Interdental Brushes?

Interdental brushes, sometimes called proxy brushes or interproximal brushes, are small, cone-shaped brushes designed specifically to clean the spaces between your teeth and around dental appliances.

Benefits of Interdental Brushes

  • Effective Cleaning: Interdental brushes excel in reaching areas that are difficult to clean with traditional floss. They are particularly beneficial for individuals with larger interdental gaps, braces, bridges, or other dental restorations.
  • Gentle on Gums: With their soft bristles, interdental brushes are generally well-tolerated by most people and are less likely to cause gum irritation.
  • Versatile and Reusable: Interdental brushes come in various sizes to accommodate different spaces. Plus, they are reusable, making them a cost-effective long-term option.

Research Findings: Recent research indicates that interdental brushes are more effective than flossing in removing plaque and reducing gum inflammation, especially in individuals with larger interdental spaces.

Making the Choice: Floss or Interdental Brushes?

When it comes to choosing between flossing and interdental brushes, it’s important to consider the following factors:



  • Effective in removing plaque and debris from between teeth.
  • Promotes healthier gums.
  • Portable and easy to use.


  • Requires manual dexterity.
  • Challenging for individuals with braces or dental appliances.
  • May cause gum irritation if not used correctly.

Interdental Brushes


  • Effective in cleaning larger interdental gaps and around dental appliances.
  • Gentle on gums.
  • Available in different sizes.


  • Not suitable for tightly spaced teeth.
  • Initial cost for purchasing brushes.
  • Requires replacement over time.

Ultimately, the choice between flossing and interdental brushes depends on your unique dental needs, personal preference, and the guidance of your dentist. Consistency and proper technique are essential for achieving optimal interdental cleaning results.


Congratulations! You now have a deeper understanding of flossing and interdental brushes. Whichever method you choose, incorporating regular and thorough interdental cleaning into your oral care routine is crucial.

Remember, everyone’s dental needs are different. For personalized recommendations and guidance, we always recommend consulting your dentist. At [Our Company Name], we’re dedicated to supporting you on your journey to a healthy, vibrant smile. Feel free to explore our website for more engaging content and helpful resources.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not replace professional dental advice. Always consult with your dentist or oral health professional for personalized recommendations and guidance.


  1. Source: Dental Health Foundation. (n.d.). Flossing. Retrieved from Link to the source.
  2. Source: Sambunjak, D., Nickerson, J. W., Poklepovic, T., Johnson, T. M., Imai, P., Tugwell, P., & Worthington, H. V. (2011). Flossing for the management of periodontal diseases and dental caries in adults. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 12(12), CD008829.
  3. Source: Sharma, N. C., Lyle, D. M., Qaqish, J. G., & Schuller, R. (2015). Effectiveness of an interdental brush on clinical parameters of periodontal disease. International Journal of Dental Hygiene, 13(3), 187–192.

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Last update on 2024-07-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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