Excellent dental health is the result of excellent dental hygiene. Using a good toothbrush, fluoridated toothpaste, mouthwash, and regularly visiting the dentist are usually recommended for good oral health.
However, it is seldom known that for achieving the absolute best oral health of your life, it is necessary to clean in between the gaps of teeth as most of the plaque accumulation and bacterial growth is observed in such confined corners and angles of the mouth. Cleaning in-between spaces of the teeth are called interdental cleaning.
How to clean in between teeth
Dental tools like floss and inter dental brushes are recommended for inter dental cleaning. Inter dental brushes are a great alternative to normal toothbrushes as these brushes can reach the far corners of the mouth where a normal brush cannot. They have specific small bristles that can enter and effectively clean any plaque or dirt that has accumulated in between two teeth.
It is recommended to brush teeth with an inter dental toothbrush after normal brushing in the evening. The toothbrushes are to be held gently and made to move in an up and down position after placing them between the teeth. The patient will see food particles stuck in the toothbrush from the mouth if there are any.
Similarly, flossing is also recommended. A piece of floss is taken, rolled over the fingers, and moved in between the teeth in a gentle rubbing motion. This causes the food particles and debris stuck in interdental spaces to slip out and leave the space clean. Flossing is recommended before brushing the teeth in the morning and before bed.
Why it is important?
Inter dental cleaning is important as it is very easy for bacteria to grow and multiply in confined, dark spaces where there is enough moisture and nutrient medium available. An interdental space seems to be the ideal place for bacterial multiplication. These bacteria accumulate over food particles that get stuck inside these spaces.
Later on, these food particles, along with the bacterial accumulation harden and form plaque. This plaque is extremely hard to remove and is incredibly damaging to the teeth. It can develop into serious conditions like tooth decay and tooth loss. Therefore, to avoid such conditions, inter dental cleaning becomes necessary.
Picking the right brush
Various factors affect the cleansing action of an inter dental brush. The most important one is the size. The size should be such that the bristles are able to effectively clean and reach the gap between two teeth.
Another factor is the geometry or shape of the interdental brush. It is found that a straight-shaped interdental brush is much more effective than an angles brush with a short handle. It can effectively clean accumulated plaque. An even better option is available in the form of curved or triangular or come shaped interdental brushes. These brushes also provide a good cleansing effect.
Material of the brush
The material of the inter dental brush also impacts the way the brush cleanses teeth. Patients report that the internet brushes that have a metallic wire inside them for structure are uncomfortable and cause irritation in the gums. The case becomes worse if the patient is suffering from sensitive gums and teeth.
Whereas, rubber inter dental brushes are a much-preferred alternative by patients of all kinds. However, having a soft structure doesn’t mean this inter dental brush is any less effective. This brush is equally as effective as the metal one and provides equal cleansing action. These brushes are better than metallic ones as the patient readily accepts this brush type and is easier to use.
Floss vs. interdental brush
It is understood that interdental brushing is more effective than normal brushing. Periodontic patients who use inter dental brushes report having fewer plaques than the patients who were using normal toothbrushes. However, the results were different for the patients who used floss. Patients who used floss reported having more plaque build-up than the patients who used interdental-brushes. Also, it was found that patients who used inter- dental brushes experienced fewer bleeding gums and sensitivity. That is so because these brushes are specially designed in such a way that the bristles remain soft yet provide effective clearance. Floss, however, can often cause small cuts which may bleed and cause the patient pain and irritation.
Inter-dental brushes were also superior in the case of periodontitis patients. The soft bristles are gentle with the sensitive gums and provide efficient plaque removal. These brushes are even recommended for chronic periodontitis patients.
Oral irrigators, also called dental water jets, provide a cleansing effect to the teeth by blowing a jet stream of water with help of little pressure. This stream of water helps clean the space in between teeth and helps in removing particles of food if there are any. The water stream also ensures that there is no bacterial accumulation. If this device is used daily, the inter-dental cleaning process becomes much less hectic. This device is also very helpful in gingivitis.
Another advantage of using this device is that there is no gum bleeding as there are no bristles or sharp wires present in this device. This device also helps in fighting bad breath or halitosis as this device also provides regular rinsing of the mouth with clean water.
Oral irrigators are an excellent option for patients who cannot tolerate flossing. Patients who have periodontitis often have sensitive gums which suffer a lot when floss is used as it can often cut into gums and can’t bleeding and pain.
Along with that, oral irrigation is also highly recommended for patients who are undergoing orthodontic treatment. Braces, veneers, etc. Do not allow the patient to brush and floss teeth regularly. In such cases, inter- dental cleaning becomes very hard. It is one of the best options available for inter-dental cleaning in almost every condition.
Use the above tips to keep your teeth clean. You will find that your teeth remain healthy with no diseases or bad breath.