The Importance of Interdental Cleaning


While most people do brush their teeth twice daily and regularly use a mouthwash, one area of oral hygiene that often gets overlooked or forgotten about is interdental cleaning.

Interdental cleaning means to clean the spaces between the tooth and around the gum line where your toothbrush can’t reach. The most common methods of interdental cleaning are flossing and the use of interdental brushes or “Tepes”.

When asked why they don’t floss, most people will answer “because it makes my gums bleed”. Bleeding gums during flossing can often indicate an area where plaque has accumulated and hardened, in turn causing inflammation, and later bleeding as the plaque is dislodged. When people see blood, they tend to think this means they need to save this place and not disturb it, however it actually means this area requires better cleaning in order to prevent plaque hardening there and forming tartar. The bleeding is a normal bodily response which will gradually subside as flossing becomes a regular part of the patient’s oral hygiene routine. Therefore, at all hygiene appointments; our dentists recommend and demonstrate a combination of different sized interdental products tailored to you.

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It is important to find the right product for you. Whilst many people opt for floss, its thin nature means slightly larger gaps are unable to be cleaned out efficiently unless the patient has near-perfect technique.

The use of such products has an array of short- and long-term benefits such as;

  • Fresher breath
  • Less tartar build-up
  • Lower cavity rates
  • Lower risks of gum disease – this occurs when films of bacteria-filled plaque sit around teeth for prolonged periods of time.
  • Lower mobility rate – mobility (when teeth start to become loose or wobbly) often becomes noticeable when the gums begin to recede because of Periodontal Disease. This condition also affects the other teeth nearby as maintaining oral hygiene in the area becomes more difficult – this may lead to the need for teeth to be removed prematurely.

Interdental cleaning does not stop at floss and interdental brushes; another key aspect is the use of mouthwash. Whilst this should be done at least half an hour after brushing the teeth, mouthwash is able to flush out any remaining debris from between the teeth. Just like with floss and ID brushes, our clinicians also try their best to recommend a mouthwash to help aid your oral health.

If you’re unsure about which interdental product is best for you, call us on 01482 440084 today to arrange a hygiene appointment.

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