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Are you cleaning in between your teeth correctly?

Interdental cleaning is an essential part of your oral health routine but sometimes we struggle to understand if we are doing it correctly. When we clean between our teeth, we are able to get into the hard-to-reach spaces that we are unable to clean effectively with our toothbrush. Not only that but it reduces the number of harmful bacteria in our mouth. This bacteria is what can cause tooth decay, gum disease and has been proven to be linked to heart disease. This then proves that not only does interdental cleaning save your teeth, but it in turn could save your heart.


How do you know if you are cleaning between your teeth correctly? Follow these helpful tips and tricks and you will be cleaning like a pro.

 

What should I be using to clean between my teeth?


There are many products available on the market to clean between your teeth. At Broome Dental Clinic we recommend using an interdental brush (e.g Piksters) or dental floss. Interdental brushes are easy to use and can be reused multiple times (just rinse it out and reuse like your toothbrush) making them a more environmentally friendly option.


When should I clean between my teeth?


It is important to make sure that you are cleaning between your teeth before you brush! If you clean between your teeth after you brush all the bacteria and plaque the you have pulled from your teeth will stay in your mouth overnight and can cancel out the entire cleaning process.


How do I clean between my teeth without irritating my gums?


Most importantly be gentle. When you floss aggressively you have more of a chance of jamming the floss into your gums and causing irritation. If using an interdental brush make sure you're using the correct size. The brush should have some slight resistance as you push it between your teeth. Gently push down the gum tissue between two of your teeth and guide the brush in between your teeth, just under where your teeth touch. If using dental floss the best way to do it is to be gentle, slide the floss in between two teeth, gently move it up and down the side of one tooth and then repeat along the side of the neighboring tooth. Ensure the floss extends under the gum as far as your can gently guide it. It is best to picture a ‘C’ shape around the tooth as you're guiding it under your gum line.


Why am I seeing blood when flossing?


If you are seeing blood when you floss you should book an appointment to come and see us.

When you haven’t flossed for a while, it can be normal to see a little bit of blood on your gums, if you have seen blood on a few different occasions then you may be flossing too aggressively. But if you are seeing blood every time you floss it can be a sign of a bigger issue, in some cases, gum disease. We highly recommend that if that is happening to you to book an appointment and come and visit us, so we can help you determine what is going on.

If you are still unsure if you are flossing correctly or want to demonstrate your technique at your next appointment just ask! We would be more than happy to help and show you some of our favorite tips and tricks for flossing.