Cleaning between teeth: the secret behind a healthy smile
When you think about maintaining a healthy mouth, brushing your teeth should be the top priority. Twice daily toothbrushing with fluoride toothpaste is the cornerstone to a healthy smile, but there is one simple addition that can truly transform how healthy your mouth is – and that is interdental cleaning.
While toothbrushing is the most effective way to keep your teeth clean, it only reaches 60% of the tooth’s surfaces. Using interdental brushes to clean in between the gaps in your teeth is one of the easiest and most important things you can do to change your smile for the better.
Why interdental cleaning is important
Dental plaque can build up between the teeth where a toothbrush cannot get to.
Over time, this can lead to tooth decay, gum inflammation, and bad breath. To prevent this from happening, it is good to use an interdental brush as part of your daily cleaning routine.
An interdental brush is a small brush specially designed to clean between your teeth, where a regular toothbrush does not reach. Daily use of an interdental brush, in addition to regular tooth brushing, is an easy and effective way to keep your gums and teeth fresh and healthy.
It’s recommended that you clean between your teeth every day, to keep your mouth fresh and healthy.
When you first start cleaning between your teeth, your gums may feel a bit sore and might bleed but do not stop because bleeding gums are often a sign of gum inflammation. If you do not notice an improvement within a few days, contact your dental professional.
Picking the right size
Interdental brushes come in many different sizes, and it can be difficult to know which one is most suitable for your mouth.
For the best advice, ask a dental professional for their recommendation. In the meantime, here are a few tips to get you started…
· Look in the mirror and insert the brush between the teeth, close to the gums. Start with the smallest size and work up until the brush bristles touch the tooth surface and the gum tissue.
· The brush should have a snug fit but the wire, although plastic coated, should not touch the sides of the teeth or the gums. Never force the brush into space.
· Once inserted, move the interdental brush to its full length back and forth about 2-3 times. Make sure to clean all the spaces between the teeth once a day.
· You are likely to need two to three different sizes or the combination of one or two brushes and floss – it all depends on the spaces between the teeth, which normally vary throughout the mouth.
How to use interdental brushes
To get the most out of interdental cleaning, it is all about the correct technique. The good news is that using interdental brushes is relatively easy to pick up. Once mastered, it is a healthy habit that will last a lifetime.
1. Use a straight interdental brush between the front teeth
Insert the brush gently between the teeth. Do not force the brush into space; work it in gently or choose a smaller size.
Move the interdental brush full length back and forth a few times.
2. If using a small interdental brush on the back teeth
If using a small interdental brush you can curve the soft neck slightly. By adding pressure with your finger, it makes it easier to reach between the back teeth. Or try a long-handled interdental brush.
3. If using a bigger interdental brush on the back teeth
When using interdental brushes of a larger size, access between the back teeth may be improved if you slightly curve the wire. The interdental brush will last longer if you do not straighten or bend the brush at another angle.