Cleaning between teeth
CLEAN BETWEEN TEETH: WHAT’S THE STORY?
Is it really necessary to floss and cleaning between teeth?
In a word: yes – please clean between teeth. Each tooth has 5 surfaces: front, back, 2 sides and the cutting or chewing surface. So, if you don’t clean between your teeth, you’re missing 2 of the 5 and are running the risk of bad breath at best and cavities and gum diseases at worst, as acid produced by bacteria breaking down food debris and plaque between your teeth will attack your enamel and irritate your gums.
How often do you need to floss and clean between teeth?
Besides brushing your teeth twice a day, you should clean between your teeth – using floss, interdental brushes or a water flosser – once a day, so you know you’re getting to where your toothbrush simply can’t reach.
Should I floss daily?
Yes, it’s important to clean between your teeth once a day in addition to your twice-daily teeth-brushing. That way, you’ll know that you’re minimising build-up of plaque bacteria between your teeth.
Is it better to brush or floss first?
Probably, brush first, but the main thing is that you’re cleaning between your teeth. If you floss after brushing, you can be sure you’ve dislodged any food debris or plaque bacteria left in places your toothbrush can’t reach, but rinse these away with mouthwash or water. If you floss before brushing, it means you can then brush away any dislodged food debris or plaque bacteria and the fluoride in toothpaste can get between your teeth.
Should I floss in the morning or at night?
The big thing is to get into the habit of cleaning between your teeth in the first place. Whether that’s in the morning or at night is up to you. Many people prefer to floss at night to avoid food debris and plaque in hard-to-reach places remaining in their mouths overnight.
Is it ever too late to start flossing?
No, it’s never too late to get into the habit of flossing. Please be aware, though, that when you first start flossing, there’s a chance your gums might bleed but this should stop after 2 to 3 days; if it doesn’t, you should visit your dentist.