Cleaning between your teeth, or ‘interdental’ cleaning, is just as important as brushing the tooth surfaces. However, studies have shown that around 3 out of 4 adults don’t clean between their teeth each day, placing them at an increased risk of tooth decay, gum disease and halitosis (bad breath).
At Easter particularly, when snacking and sweet treats are more common, interdental cleaning is especially important.
Bacteria and plaque collect in the small spaces and gum margins where even the most thorough brushing can’t reach. Brushing alone only reaches around 60% of tooth surfaces, leaving two sides of every tooth untouched. Over time, a buildup of food and bacteria increases the risk of a range of oral and physical health problems.
Interdental cleaning requires very small, purpose designed tools which help to clean the spaces in between the teeth and around the gum margins. You have choices about which device works best for you – some people prefer flossing, others use interdental brushes, or even a combination of both. Over this Easter break, give yourself something which is likely to last longer than a chocolate bunny – improved oral health.
Dentists generally advise brushing at least twice each day and to clean between the teeth once a day. If you can feel there is food caught between your teeth, there’s no harm in flossing more frequently. There is also no specific time of the day when interdental cleaning is recommended, though many people find it’s best for them to do this before bedtime. What’s important is that you take your time, are thorough and don’t rush.
Remember, cleaning between your teeth is just as important as brushing. Your dentist can help you to learn the right technique. Book an appointment for a dental check-up.