You’re often told how important flossing is in addition to brushing your teeth twice daily. Flossing is an effective way to clean food debris, bacteria, and plaque from in between your teeth, but it isn’t the only way. If you’re not a fan of flossing, then you might consider other options such as interdental brushes and water flossers. Let’s look at the various options available to help you decide the best method of interdental cleaning for you.
You’re probably already familiar with flossing. You wrap a thin piece of string around your fingers and work it in between your teeth to clean away food, bacteria, and plaque. This is an effective way to clean between your teeth and prevent problems like plaque build-up and gum disease, but it can be uncomfortable if you have tight gaps between teeth.
Patients are often put off by the discomfort and potential bleeding at first, but if you continue to floss on a regular basis, then it becomes much easier and more comfortable. There are also ways you can make flossing easier and more comfortable, such as using waxed dental floss for smoother flossing or using a floss holder to make it more comfortable to hold and use.
An interdental brush is a tool with a small, bristled brush on the end to clean in between your teeth. Similar to regular flossing, you gently insert the brush between your teeth and move it back and forth to clear any debris and plaque. These brushes are generally flexible to easily clean between the teeth. Similarly, interdental picks are another option.
A study comparing the various methods of interdental cleaning found interdental brushes to be the most effective at reducing plaque and preventing inflammation of the gums. They can also be more comfortable than flossing because they come in various sizes and widths to suit different mouths.
If you still find flossing or using interdental brushes uncomfortable, then water flossing is another option. A water flosser is a tool that looks similar to an electric toothbrush, which sprays a jet of water between your teeth to dislodge food debris and clean plaque and bacteria.
This can be the best option for anyone who has low mobility or dexterity in their hands, which might make maneuvring floss or an interdental brush more difficult. It can also be more comfortable for those with tight gaps between their teeth.
Any of these methods is a great deal better than not cleaning between your teeth at all, so make sure you choose a method that you’re more likely to stick with. If you need any advice about cleaning in between your teeth and which method we’d recommend for you, then book an appointment with Advance Family Dentists for our advice or for a dental check-up in Advance, NC.