Floss/clean between teeth daily improves oral hygiene and fresh breath as well as oral health. Think of bacteria in the plaque biofilm and food left undisturbed where your toothbrush can’t reach! That’s where cleaning in between comes in. “Interdental” cleaning is necessary to reach these areas your toothbrush bristles just can’t reach. Regular Interdental cleaning is important for health and personal hygiene, as it disrupts the plaque biofilm that gathers, leading to disease and bad breath.
Use Interdental brushes dry (unless advised by your oral care team) and clean between teeth BEFORE you brush. Spit but don’t rinse toothpaste away after brushing. For oral HEALTH some people will need to be meticulous twice daily interdental cleaners, while others will not suffer dramatically if they only clean a couple of times a week. How often depends on your health and individual needs, which may fluctuate over time. Daily interdental cleaning will benefit everyone’s oral HYGIENE.
The shape and size of interdental spaces will affect what aid/brush you use. The Interdental space varies due to a number of factors e.g. shape and position of teeth, missing teeth, disease, fillings and other restorations such as implants, crowns, bridges or dentures. Cleaning depends on how easy it is to access, your ability and motivation to clean and your personal preference for what you use.
Floss is ideal for cleaning tight contacts between teeth e.g. young people with healthy gums or teeth that overlap. If there is space the correct size of interdental brush is your tool of choice.
Interdental spaces can change over time. You may find that you require more than one type of interdental cleaning aid, or a number of different sizes. Focus on cleaning the surfaces your toothbrush can’t reach – if the cleaning method isn’t making contact with the tooth surface, it isn’t doing the job(think of a bottle brush cleaning the neck of a bottle). Your dental team or Growing Smiles coach can help with the best product for your individual needs.