Your at-home oral hygiene routine is the most effective way to protect your teeth from decay and disease. Brushing your pearly whites and cleaning between the teeth will help you maintain a healthy smile. Unfortunately, not everyone knows the best way to clean between teeth.
Flossing is one great way to clean between teeth. To learn about other methods and how they compare with flossing, keep reading below!
Benefits of Cleaning Between Teeth
If you brush regularly, why do you need to clean between teeth? While toothbrushes are important for maintaining the health of your teeth, they can’t reach every surface of every tooth. The spaces between your teeth are especially hard for toothbrush bristles to clean.
Because these areas are hard to reach, they can collect food debris and harmful bacteria. Cleaning between your teeth allows you to fully clean every tooth surface – not just those surfaces that are easy to reach with a toothbrush. This practice also clears out any material that could contribute to decay or bad breath.
Over time, cleaning between teeth (or interdental cleaning, as it is also called) will help reduce plaque buildup. This minimizes the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, and it has the added bonus of improving your breath.
The Benefits & Limitations of Flossing
Flossing is the most common method of interdental cleaning. This tried-and-true technique effectively removes food debris and plaque from between your teeth. It’s been proven to help prevent gum disease and bone loss.
In recent years, however, some dentists have begun to offer flossing alternatives to patients who don’t like the feeling or process of flossing. Patients with very crowded teeth or people who struggle with hand mobility might not be able to floss. Alternative options allow everyone to keep their mouth healthy, regardless of ability or anatomy.
Other Interdental Cleaning Options
If you aren’t a fan of floss, interdental brushes might be right for you. These small brushes contain tiny bristles that help scrub the areas between your teeth. They are a good option for people who have enough space between their teeth to fit a brush.
Interdental brushes are also a good way for people with braces to floss. Using traditional floss can be tricky when navigating around braces or other hardware.
For people who are looking for a two-in-one clean and rinse option, a water flosser might be the best way to clean between teeth. These tools can be used alongside a thorough toothbrushing routine to clean out debris and bacteria from between the teeth. They shoot out a thin, concentrated spray of water to clean your teeth – imagine power-washing your mouth!
What’s the Best Way to Clean Between Teeth?
Whether you opt for dental floss, interdental picks, a water flosser, or another method, cleaning between teeth is an important skill to master. There’s no single best way to clean between teeth, and the information above should give you an idea of how you can make the best choice for yourself.
When choosing the best way to remove debris and buildup from between your teeth, consider your budget, your preferences, and anything that might make flossing difficult for you, such as braces or lack of mobility.
If you have more questions about how to clean teeth, give our office a call. We’re here to help answer your dental hygiene questions. We’re proud to empower our patients to take their oral health into their own hands!