When you brush your teeth every morning and evening, what do you do? Do you guide your brush around your mouth and then stop cleaning? Or do you follow brushing by inter-dental brushing or flossing? If you do, you get extra brownie points from us! Most people know that it’s important to clean their teeth, but the importance of cleaning between the teeth is often overlooked. If you don’t own any dental floss or you’re not familiar with inter-dental brushes, here’s why it’s so beneficial to make your oral care regime more thorough.
Brushing your teeth is important because it helps to prevent the formation of plaque. Plaque is a sticky substance, which clings to the tooth enamel and the gum line. It contains bacteria, which release acids when they feed. These acids irritate the gums and erode the enamel, resulting in an elevated risk of gum disease and cavities.
When you brush your teeth, you can cover most of your mouth, but it’s not possible to access every single bit. You can’t use a brush to clean the cracks between your teeth, for example. When you don’t clean the entire mouth, there’s always a risk of plaque forming even if you’ve done a brilliant job with your toothbrush. If you don’t already clean between your teeth, we can offer advice and tips.
There are two ways to clean between the teeth: flossing and brushing with inter-dental brushes. Flossing involves passing dental tape through the cracks. This simple technique is used to dislodge bits of food and bacteria before they can combine with saliva to form plaque. Inter-dental brushes are smaller version of toothbrushes, which are designed specifically to clean between the teeth. They come in different sizes and are usually different colours.
It’s up to you whether you choose to floss, use inter-brushes or use a combination of both techniques. Some people find that it takes a while to get used to flossing, and if this is the case, you may prefer using inter-dental brushes.
If you need any help or advice about cleaning your teeth, we’ll be more than happy to answer questions and give you some demonstrations.
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