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Dental floss and Interdental brushes Guide

28 / 09 / 2020

Our guide to using dental floss and interdental brushes

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Dental floss and Interdental brushes Guide

 

Maintaining proper oral hygiene involves more than just brushing your teeth. Cleaning between your teeth and along the gumline is essential for removing plaque and food particles that brushing alone cannot reach.

Interdental brushes are designed to fit between teeth, with various sizes available to suit different gap widths. They can be purchased from dental practices, pharmacies, or supermarkets. Dental floss is another option, particularly useful for tighter spaces. Research suggests interdental brushes are more effective at plaque removal than floss.

From the age of 12, it’s recommended to clean between your teeth at least once daily. For children under 12, assistance with flossing may be necessary. When using interdental brushes, select the appropriate size for your gaps and gently guide the brush through each space. If your gums bleed initially, it’s normal as they adjust to the cleaning, but if bleeding persists, seek advice from your dentist.

Dental floss should be used in a gentle, stroking motion between teeth. Avoid snapping the floss into gums to prevent injury. Maintain a consistent pattern when flossing, starting from the top left and moving to the bottom, then repeating from left to right.

If dexterity is an issue, floss holders can be helpful. Like with interdental brushes, initial tenderness or bleeding may occur when flossing, but this should improve with regular use.

By incorporating these techniques into your oral care routine, you can effectively remove plaque and reduce the risk of gum disease. Remember, good dental health starts with consistent and thorough oral hygiene practices.

Cleaning Between Your Teeth

To maintain optimal oral hygiene, it’s crucial to clean between your teeth in addition to brushing. This ensures the removal of plaque and food particles that brushing alone may miss.

Using Interdental Brushes

Interdental brushes are specially designed to fit between teeth, offering a more effective cleaning method than traditional brushing. These brushes come in various sizes to accommodate different gap widths, and they can be obtained from dental practices, pharmacies, or supermarkets.

Using Dental Floss

Dental floss is another effective tool for cleaning between teeth, particularly in tighter spaces. It should be used in a gentle, stroking motion to avoid injuring the gums. Dental tape, which is thicker than floss, can also be used for larger gaps.

Establishing a Routine

From the age of 12, it’s recommended to clean between your teeth at least once daily. Consistency is key to ensuring thorough cleaning and preventing plaque buildup. For children under 12, assistance with flossing may be necessary.

Using Interdental Brushes: Step-by-Step

Select the appropriate size interdental brush for your gap width and gently guide it through each space between your teeth. Initially, you may experience some bleeding or tenderness as your gums adjust to the cleaning process. However, if bleeding persists, it’s advisable to seek advice from your dentist.

Using Dental Floss: Step-by-Step

Break off about 45 centimeters of dental floss and wind it around one finger of each hand. Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers, leaving no slack. Use a gentle ‘rocking’ motion to guide the floss between your teeth, curving it into a C-shape against each tooth and stroking the side to remove plaque.

Maintaining Consistency

Maintain a consistent pattern when cleaning between your teeth, starting from the top left and moving to the bottom, then repeating from left to right. This systematic approach ensures thorough cleaning and reduces the likelihood of missing any teeth.

Seeking Assistance

If dexterity is an issue, floss holders can be helpful tools for cleaning between teeth. Like with interdental brushes, initial tenderness or bleeding may occur when using dental floss, but this should improve with regular use.

Conclusion: Prioritizing Oral Hygiene

By incorporating these techniques into your daily oral care routine, you can effectively remove plaque and reduce the risk of gum disease. Remember, consistent and thorough oral hygiene practices are essential for maintaining optimal dental health.

Dr Vivek Giddani : BDS, Pg DipDCSc (U-Lon), LDSRCS (Eng), MFDSRCS (Ed), MCGDent, Pg DipPerio (U-Plym) GDC: 185505

Emma Saunders: CEB CERT IN DENTAL HYGIENE 1988

Jenni Seaney: DIP DENT HYGIENE LONDON 2004

Chloe Evans: BSCs (Hons) Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy Cardiff University 2021

 

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