Gum disease starts between the teeth. Use either floss or interdental brushes to efficiently clean the spaces.
Flossing removes plaque and food particles from between your teeth and under the gumline, areas that your toothbrush cannot reach.
Hold the floss tightly between your thumb and forefingers, with about an inch of floss between them, leaving no slack.
Use a gentle rocking motion to guide the floss between your teeth. Do not jerk the floss or snap the floss into the gums. When the floss reaches the gumline, curve it into a C-shape against one tooth until you feel resistance. Hold the floss against the tooth. Gently scrape the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum. Repeat on the other side of the gap, along the side of the next tooth. Keep to a regular pattern to ensure no teeth are missed. Remember flossing should not be painful if it is then your technique may be incorrect.
When using interdental brushes, the brush should fill the space between the teeth and offer some resistance when inserted, but should never be forced into the space. It the brush goes in too easily it is likely too small and won’t be effective.
Your dentist or hygienist will help advise you on the right brush sizes for you and show you how to use them properly. You might need different size brushes for the different gaps in-between your teeth.
To reach further back in the mouth, bend the brush or use interdental brushes with longer handles.
If you haven’t cleaned between your teeth in a while, your gums can feel sore and bleed when you start cleaning. Don’t stop – bleeding is a sign of inflammation caused by plaque, so it’s important to keep cleaning every day.
At Buckden Dental Clinic our Hygiene Therapists and Oral Hygiene instructors can discuss and demonstrate these techniques with you. You can find a range of cleaning aids for purchase from reception.