Cleaning Between
July 06, 2022
Keeping your gums healthy is essential, and there are many methods to keep them clean. One of these methods is cleaning in between your teeth. In this article, we talk about the different techniques and tools you can use. Choose the easiest for YOU and do it at least once daily.

Author:

Ina Alberts
Interdental cleaning removes plaque and food from between teeth AND below the gum line where your toothbrush can’t reach. We have a natural space below our gums. In healthy gums, this space is 1-3mm deep; in diseased gums, it can be deeper due to swelling or bone loss. Regular cleaning of this space and the interdental areas can prevent gum disease and tooth decay between teeth. There are many ways to do this.
Choose the easiest method for YOU and do it at least once daily.

DENTAL FLOSS

Dental floss is meant to clean between teeth that have contact and below the gum line. Holding the floss too far apart and not guiding the floss correctly below the gum line will result in plaque that gets left behind, which can eventually form tartar. Likewise, pushing too hard on the floss and not following the shape of the gums can result in floss cuts. The correct floss technique is, therefore, essential.

Technique:

    • You’ll need about 30cm of floss at a time. Hold the floss about a centimetre apart between your index fingers and thumbs.
    • Insert the floss between teeth with a gentle back-and-forth sawing motion. Next, form a C-shape around the tooth and guide floss below the gum line, following the shape of your gum.
    • Use a clean piece of string between each contact.
    • Dispose of it after a whole mouth clean.

EASY FLOSSERS OR FLOSS FORKS ​

These are easy to use, but one is limited in how far around each tooth and below the gum line one can clean with it. It is ideal for small children.

Technique:

    • Insert the flosser between teeth with a gentle back-and-forth sawing motion.
    • Try to guide the flosser gently to the left, up and to the right by following the
      shape of the gum line.
    • Dispose of it after a whole mouth clean.

INTERDENTAL BRUSHES​

Interdental brushes come in many sizes. You must use the right size for it to clean effectively, as it works similarly to a bottle
brush. The brush needs to fill the whole interdental area to clean it effectively. Dental hygienists can measure your interdental areas and prescribe the correct size brushes. Most need to use at least two different brush sizes as the spaces between our teeth vary.

Technique:

    • Our gums form a triangle between teeth.
    • When inserting an interdental brush, insert it from one side of the triangle and exit on the other side of the triangle.
    • Rinse the brush between uses and replace it when the bristles are worn.

WATER FLOSSERS

If the above options are too messy or complicated to do right. A rechargeable water flosser is an effective alternative and so much easier to use.

Technique:

    • Lean over the sink and insert the tip into your mouth.
    • Turn on the device and close your lips to prevent water from splashing.
    • Direct the nozzle between teeth and move along the shape of the gum line as you spray.
    • Spray from the outer surfaces of teeth and repeat from the inside where possible.
    • Water will flow from your mouth into the sink.
    • Switch off and remove it from your mouth once your done
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