Cleaning between your teeth is an essential part of your oral hygiene routine. Interdental brushes or flossing are effective ways of removing plaque and food debris from those narrow spaces. Interdental brushes come in various sizes and allow you to clean in between your teeth above the gum line.
Dental floss is a soft thread that comes in different thicknesses to cater for varying gap sizes. Interdental cleaning should be carried out at least once a day to help prevent tooth decay and stop plaque turning into hard tartar, which can irritate the gums and lead to gum disease.
- Helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease
- Keeps breath fresher
- Improves the look of your teeth
- Can contribute to your overall well-being
- Your dentist or hygienist can recommend the appropriate size brushes.
- Use the brush above the gum margin in between the teeth.
- Brush forward and backwards a few times.
- Repeat for all spaces in between your teeth.
- Break off 15-18 inches of floss and wind around the middle fingers of each hand.
- Pull the floss tightly between your fingers.
- Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion.
- When it reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape and slide it into the space between gum and tooth.
- Hold the floss tightly against the tooth, moving it up and down and use a clean piece of floss for each space between your teeth.
You may experience some tenderness and bleeding when you first use floss, but this is normal and should diminish after a while. If bleeding does continue, you should arrange to see your dentist.
If you find it tricky to floss, there are aids available, such as ‘Y’ shaped holders, which can make the cleaning process much easier.
Don’t forget youngsters also need to floss, so as soon as your children have teeth that touch, you can introduce this interdental cleaning method to their oral hygiene routine.
Poor dental health has been linked to certain serious conditions, such as heart disease and strokes, so flossing can be beneficial for the rest of your body too.