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31 Jan 2016 | Auxiliary

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The bleeding edge of oral health

Oral Hygiene Prevention

Tooth decay is Australia's most common health problem and the second most costly diet-related disease.* Each year, 11 million teeth develop decay.* But cavities can be prevented.


The side of the tooth, rarely brushed, is the forgotten edge of cavity prevention. Most tooth decay is caused by a build-up of bacteria and plaque between teeth. This build-up is responsible for stinky breath, tooth decay and gum inflammation which can lead to bleeding, infection, tooth loss and as science is increasingly discovering, diseases that affect the entire body.

Critically, our oral hygiene habits fail to address this problem by ignoring one third of the tooth's surface. Removing gunk from between the teeth is not always easy. Flossing has been around since the rayon thread of the 1890s. While the merits of flossing are well-known, not everyone flosses.

Research by a top dental team at Sweden's Malmo University set out to find out why so many people didn't floss and instead discovered a way to far more effectively clean between the teeth. Based on this research, a crack Swedish design team came up with a very simple solution to tooth-edge decay and gum disease prevention: TePe interdental brushes.

The unique easy-to-use tiny rounded brushes are like very soft bottle-brushes. Some are angled to get around corners and the hard-to-reach back molars, soothing and massaging sensitive gums at the same time. Cleaning between the teeth is completed using a simple in and out brushing movement, rather than ineffective twisting or poking.

Using as directed, the entry angle ensures there is no damage to the gum and regular use will reduce and eliminate bleeding - a known inhibitor to flossing. This makes the TePe interdental brush ideal for braces and implants.

TePe interdental brushes come in nine sizes. Calculated in relation to the Passage Hole Diameter (PHD) - the space through which a brush will comfortably pass - the plastic covered wire with bristles starts at a circumference of 0.4 mm for the teeth-too-tight tribe and thereafter the bristles become longer as the brush size increases in micro increments 0.45; 0.5; 0.6; 0.7; 0.8; 1.1; 1.3 and 1.5 mm.

There are 3 ranges of TePe Interdental brushes: original, extra soft and angle.

For both economy and the environment, the brushes are multi-use, with a quick wash, just like a toothbrush.

The product range includes nine colour-coded sizes, angled brushes, storage accessories, every day and specialist toothbrushes and dental sticks.


*Australian Dental Association 2012

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