In order to continue to maintain healthy teeth and gums, a regime of brushing twice a day should be combined with interdental brushing or cleaning between the teeth with floss.
This will ensure that your teeth are kept throughout your life.
Cleaning in between your teeth is essential for gum health and to reduce the risk of decay.
There are different means of cleaning between the teeth including floss, interdental brushes.
Types of Interdental Cleaning
Brushing alone only cleans three of the five surfaces of your teeth, so it is important that you also clean between your teeth every day. Contrary to many adverts, Mouthwash does not either!.
As a guide, the two main types of interdental cleaning are floss and interdental brushes.
Interdental Brushes are placed at the gum line and pushed horizontally in a forwards and backwards motion. These push any plaque and debris out of the space whilst cleaning the sides of the teeth.
These can be more effective than using floss on its own especially between back teeth and where there are larger spaces in your mouth. In these spaces, the food tends to trap and floss simply does not remove the deposits.
Sometimes floss makes the condition worse, pushing the food debris into the gum in big spaces. Interdental brushes push out this debris more effectively.
How to Floss
Starting with about 12 inches of floss, wind most of the floss around each middle finger, leaving an inch or two of floss to work with.
Holding the floss tight between your thumbs and index fingers, slide it gently up-and-down between your teeth pushing it to the left and right of the space.
Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure you go right down to the gum edge.
If you find flossing difficult, why not try “Flossette’s ™” or “Mini Flossers ™”. These are plastic handles with the floss strung between the ends like a catapult or harp.
These are widely available from Sherborne Dental Centre, chemists or supermarkets.