Common Solutions

What’s A Proxabrush? (Interdental Brush)

Go Between Proxabrushes

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 Proxabrushes 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- Ultra-Tight

Butler GUM Go-Between- Tight

Butler GUM Go-Between- Tight

Butler GUM Go-Between- Moderate

Butler GUM Go-Between- Moderate

Butler GUM Go-Between- Wide

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

Final Thoughts

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.

Medical Disclaimer:

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.

22 comments

  1. Rodarrick

    Wow! I’m in love with this. On countless occasions I have wished to have something to clean in between my teeth and seeing this Proxabrush, I am definitely going to invest in this right now. Thank you so much for sharing this post with me and a big thumbs up here. I like the fact that it comes in sizes and can suit everyone. Thanks!

    1. Michelle Mussehl, RDH

      Rodarrick,

      I appreciate your kind review of the article ‘What’s A Proxabrush? (Interdental Brush) Please share your experience with the product once you have tried it to benefit other readers. You will be impressed with the ease of use and its effectiveness. With regular use of an interproximal cleaner such as the Butler GUM Go-Between you will be taking a great step toward improved oral health.

      Michelle

  2. Kate

    Wow, what an amazing thing! I’ve never in my life heard of! (Probably a sign I need to go to the dentist more….) I’ve been told a couple of times that a Waterpik is superior to flossing in its ability to get plaque and food particles out from between my teeth. How would you rank the Proxabrush as opposed to a Waterpik?

  3. Kevin

    Wow, I probably need an interdental brush, thank you for bringing this to my attention! I hardly ever floss. I find that using the standard string floss is super awkward especially trying to floss the teeth at the back of my mouth. This brush definitely seems easier for me to floss my front teeth. I am wondering, though, is it uncomfortable getting between the teeth in the back?

    1. Michelle Mussehl, RDH

      Kevin, 

      There are different sizes to make using them comfortable for you depending on where you need to use them. Proxabrush has the variation in sizes because everyone has different needs. Most people have more space between the back teeth versus the front. If your teeth are tighter in the back, you will want to use the ultra-tight or tight size bristle.

      Thanks for commenting,

      Michelle

  4. Shanta Rahman

    First of all, thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful article with us. Your article is really informative. I gained a lot of knowledge by reading it and I found it very helpful to me. A good smile certainly requires good clean teeth and a good quality brush is essential for that. Proxabrush is a brand name of an interdental brush that I have used for myself and got great results. I was pleasantly surprised at how effectively my teeth were cleaned. Besides, it is very easy to carry with you. I will definitely pass your article on to my friends and recommend them to buy this product. I will also share with you their new experiences. Can I share your article on my social media?

    1. Michelle Mussehl, RDH

      Shanta,

      Thank you for sharing your positive experience with the Butler GUM Proxabrush. I would definitely encourage you to share this information on your social media. When you share this with others, you will be taking steps to improve not only their oral health but their overall health as well. Research shows the correlation between bacterial plaque in the mouth and systemic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, strokes and Alzheimer’s disease.

      Best wishes,

      Michelle

  5. Md. Asraful Islam

    One of my questions is the differences in effectiveness not only between floss and interdental brushes but also between toothpicks. The researcher acknowledged the idea that proximal sides of teeth usually have some curvature or concavity present. Therefore, when using the different methods, the effectiveness would vary, although, at the very least, some proximal plaque would be removed with each approach.

    I’ve been using the Butler GUM Go-Between-tight for many years and they were recommended by my dentist. They are very beneficial for your overall health as your teeth can make a negative impact on your health if you do not floss and keep your gums in good condition.

     I Loved reading your article and would like to share this educational article in my Facebook group if you give me permission.

    1. Michelle Mussehl, RDH

      Md. Asraful Islam,

      Many dental professionals recommend the Go-Between Proxabrush from Butler GUM. Flossing is still recommended. However, considering the lack of compliance with flossing, it is nice to offer patients an alternative that works for cleaning between their teeth. What works best is what works for you! The use of toothpicks is not encouraged by dental professionals. There is a “v-like” shaped area of tissue between our teeth called the interdental papillae. This papillae is designed to keep plaque and food debris from collecting between our teeth. With regular use of a wooden toothpick, this area can become callused and blunted which creates more space between our teeth. This then invites more plaque and debris to collect in these hard to reach areas. Using a Proxabrush will gently and thoroughly clean this area without damaging the tissue between our teeth.

      Regards and please share this information with your Facebook group.

      Michelle

  6. Son

    Not a big fan of flossing myself. I don’t floss until I feel something is stuck in between my teeth. I only do it maybe once a week to be honest, and this is probably due to laziness and the fact that it’s not very convenient. I only heard about the interdental brush recently and this seems like a much better alternative to flossing. Another reason I seldom floss is because my gums tend to bleed whenever I floss, would this also occur with the interdental brushes?

    1. Michelle Mussehl, RDH

      Son,

      I realize flossing is not convenient. An interdental brush (Proxabrush) makes the tedious task of cleaning between your teeth much easier. Bleeding usually occurs due to the lack of regular cleaning between your teeth. When plaque is left between your teeth, it gives off toxins which cause inflammation of your gums. This inflammation is what causes the bleeding. With regular removal of plaque, the gums will become healthier and bleeding will no longer occur. With regular use of a Proxabrush (or floss) bleeding will be a thing of the past.

      Michelle

  7. Taufique Ahmed

    First, thanks for this article about tooth care. For a few days, I have been facing a problem with my tooth. I am searching for a solution for it on the internet. There are so many articles. Of all of them, your article is the best I have found. I will follow your instructions on how to use a Proxabrush and I think it will bring good results for me. Thank you so much for the amazing article.

    1. Michelle Mussehl, RDH

      Taufique,

      I am hopeful that you will find all the oral health care solutions you are looking for. Browse through the menu of oralprobiotichealth.com and you will see many articles pertaining to common oral health issues. Feel free to send any questions my way and I will be happy to help!

      Michelle

  8. akon

    Wow, what an awesome review. Your article signifies the degree of expertise you have and I am more than happy to come across your works. I suffer from a hole in my tooth which is a cavity. This may be a result of food particles stuck between my teeth and the works of the numerous bacteria you just mentioned. I have suffered terrible pain and my dentist’s advice is that the tooth be removed. Can a Proxabrush really help me as far as this tooth condition (hole) is concerned? Though I know it will help me in the future.

    1. Michelle Mussehl, RDH

      Akon,

      A Proxabrush will help keep this area you have mentioned clean until you have a chance to get it removed. A hole in a tooth usually indicates a cavity. Once a cavity has broken through the outer layer of enamel, it travels quickly into the next layer of tooth called the dentin. This is when you get the “hole” that you mentioned. At this stage, a cavity cannot get better on its own, it needs to be restored by your dentist. It sounds as if your dentist feels that the decay has progressed too far and can no longer be restored. This is most likely why your dentist is recommending the tooth be removed. By using a Proxabrush in the meantime, you can keep the area clean and it will help with the pain. Going forward, you can use a Proxabrush to keep the rest of your teeth clean and prevent this from happening to your other teeth.

      Thanks for sharing,

      Michelle

  9. sabrinamou

    I truly need to initially value your exertion in assembling this incredible site and composing this article. Many thanks for the extraordinary article about a Proxabrush. After reading your article, I found out how using a  Proxabrush will be beneficial for our teeth. And since I have dental problems it is so perfect for me. I think your article will be very helpful for those who have issues with their teeth and gums. I have a question. My son also has dental problems, so can my son use this brush too? Will it be good for him? I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. I want to share this article on my social media so everyone can learn about it. Thanks!

    1. Michelle Mussehl, RDH

      Sabrina,

      Yes, absolutely your son can benefit from using a Proxabrush. In fact, children under the age of 8 do not have the dexterity to correctly use floss. A Proxabrush does not take any special skill and is ideal for adults and children of all ages. Children going through braces (ortho) can especially benefit from using a Proxabrush. During ortho, the wires make it difficult to clean between the teeth. Using a Proxabrush will effectively remove plaque and food debris from between the teeth and also around the brackets. 

      Thanks for your questions,

      Michelle

  10. shariful islam

    Many thanks to you for sharing such an excellent article. I have not been very careful about my teeth since I was a child and I know teeth are a very important. I love the dental advice you give and I think it will help keep my teeth and mouth healthy. I intend to start using this brush and share with you my new experiences after using it.

    1. Michelle Mussehl, RDH

      The fact that you did not take good care of your teeth as a child does not mean it is too late to start now. In fact, it is never too late to start taking better care of your teeth and gums. You can start today by using the right product for cleaning between your teeth. If you prefer not to floss, you will be greatly improving your oral health by adding a Proxabrush to your homecare routine.

      Good luck! 

      Michelle

  11. Tashibaarzu

    Hello and thanks for the nice post. Really, this post is informative as well as educative. I read this post and found a lot of information. I use a Proxabrush and I know how nice it is. But I didn’t know enough about its importance. From your post, I have learned the importance. I recommend people to use it. It is truly good for our teeth. I hope everyone who reads your article will benefit. Thank you again for such a beautiful article.

    1. Michelle Mussehl, RDH

      Tashibaarzu,

      Thanks for your kind review of the article ‘What’s A Proxabrush? (Interdental Brush)’ and for your comments. I am glad to hear you are already using one and you now know how very important their use really is. If you brush but do not clean between your teeth, you are leaving behind a substantial amount of disease causing plaque and debris.

      Michelle

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