Interdental Hygiene: Importance and Tools to Clean Between Your Teeth

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Interdental Hygiene: Importance and Tools to Clean Between Your Teeth

You’ll be shocked to know that you may still have plaque between your teeth even if you brush your teeth for two minutes twice or thrice a day. That’s because a regular toothbrush only reaches just about two-thirds of the dental surface. The remaining areas are a hotbed for plaque and bacteria.

But the good news is you can clean the germs and tartar in the hard-to-reach areas either by yourself or get it cleaned by a professional dentist. The process is called interdental cleaning, which is also known as interproximal cleaning. It involves a thorough clean-up between two teeth with the use of various manual and mechanical interdental cleaning devices.

At TruCare Dentistry, we know how important interdental cleaning is and we provide the service to our patients who visit us for routine dental checkups. In this blog post, we discuss the importance of regular interdental cleaning and the tools that can eliminate plaque buildup between your teeth. Read on to know more.

Importance of interdental cleaning:

Interdental cleaning eliminates debris, bacteria, and plaque in hard-to-reach places where a normal toothbrush cannot reach. Apart from that, it also:

  • Eliminates bad breath
  • Prevents cavities and gum diseases
  • Keeps your teeth squeaky clean
  • Keeps your mouth fresh and healthy

Types of interdental cleaners

When it comes to contemporary interdental cleaners, there are mainly three types that are extremely popular with people around the globe.

1. Floss 

It’s the oldest interdental cleaner that has been around since the prehistoric era, as per evidence found by various researchers. However, in the last two centuries, it became the most commonly used interdental cleaner after it was commercialized. The first mass-produced dental floss was made from a waxed silk thread but now it’s made from waxed nylon that’s enclosed in a plastic box. As per a study published by National Center for Biotechnology Information, flossing can remove up to 80 percent of interdental plaque and considerably reduce the chances of tooth decay and periodontal diseases.

As per the American Dental Association and a majority of dentists all over the world, everyone should floss at least once every day, preferably before going to bed. But a study conducted by the prestigious association found that as less as ten percent of Americans floss daily.

2. Interdental brush

As the name suggests, an interdental brush is a specially-designed toothbrush that’s devised to clean between two teeth. It was invented by renowned American physician and innovator Dr. Charles Bass in 1976 as an alternative to dental floss. The first brush consisted of a metal wire core that twisted around soft nylon filaments and the modern brushes aren’t very different from the first one, though they now come in several sizes to match differing spaces between teeth.

Interdental brushes are effective in eliminating plaque up to 2.5 mm below the gingival margin. Even though dental floss works like a charm, various studies have found interdental brushes are even more effective at reducing plaque index.

Interdental brushes come in eight different sizes and manufacturers color-code them to enable users to identify and select the right size as per their needs. The smallest interdental brush is color-coded pink, which has a diameter of 0.4mm. The largest one is color-coded black, which has a diameter of 1.5mm. The remaining brushes are color-coded Orange, Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, and Violet.

When it comes to optimizing the effectiveness of an interdental cleaning brush, choosing the right size is extremely crucial. If you don’t know the right brush size for your teeth, begin with the smallest one and work on it until the bristles of the right brush touch the gum tissue and tooth surface. After that, use the correct technique to clean the areas between your teeth in the most efficient manner.

3. Water flosser

Also known as oral irrigators, water flossers are among the most studied interdental cleaners in the market. The first water flosser was developed by noted dentist Dr. C.D. Matteson in the ‘50s and Dr. Gerald Moyer developed the idea of an electrically powered device.

Modern water flossers use a mix of pressure and rhythm to pump a stream of air or water through a specially-designed nozzle to get rid of plaque and debris lodged between the teeth as well as above and below the gums. 

Since their introduction, oral irrigators have achieved the status of being effective and safe interdental cleaners to get rid of plaque and bacteria as well as prevent or reduce the risk of dental caries, gingivitis, and gum disease.

One research conducted by the Journal of Periodontology found that the regular use of water flossers considerably reduced plaque buildup. Another recent study found that water flossers are as high as 51 percent more effective than traditional floss when it comes to reducing gingivitis. Also, many researchers have found that water flossers work best when they are used after brushing.

One recent study conducted by the Journal of Clinical Dentistry found that when water flossing is combined with regular brushing, they remove three-fourths of plaque. They reduce whole-mouth plaque by more than half with consistent use for just four weeks.

The biggest benefit of a water flosser is that, unlike traditional floss or interdental brushes, it uses air or water for cleaning and prevents the interdental areas from having direct contact with a hard object. This can be particularly helpful in case of bleeding gums and implant maintenance.

Overall, it may be said,

Regular interdental cleaning is extremely crucial for preventing tooth caries, decay, infections, gum disease, and other dental complications. But it can never replace regular brushing as well as professional dental cleaning. That’s because a qualified dentist is equipped with the right tools to check your teeth and clean them thoroughly to remove plaque in hard-to-reach places.

If you are looking for a complete professional interdental cleaning in Roswell, GA, we at TruCare Dentistry have a proven track record of providing high-quality services. If you’re a resident of Alpharetta, Dunwoody, Marietta, Milton, Sandy Springs, or Woodstock, then you don’t have to look any further. To know more about our services, visit our services page to know the services we offer or contact us today to book an appointment.