THE AMERICAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION RECOMMENDS CLEANING BETWEEN YOUR TEETH DAILY WITH FLOSS. CLEANING BETWEEN YOUR TEETH MAY HELP PREVENT CAVITIES AND GUM DISEASE.
Cleaning between your teeth helps remove a sticky film called plaque.
Plaque that is not removed by brushing and cleaning between your teeth can eventually harden into a rough substance called tartar.
Tartar collects along your gum line and can lead to gum disease. Once tartar forms, only your dental hygienist can remove it.
WHAT SHOULD I USE TO CLEAN BETWEEN MY TEETH?
If there’s something stuck between your teeth that you want to remove immediately, it can be tempting to use whatever you have handy to clean it out.
Instead, stick to using tools designed for cleaning between teeth like dental picks, string floss, tiny brushes that reach between the teeth and water flossers.
Talk to your dentist, and try different options until you find the one that works best for you.
For example, dental picks might help you get to hard-to-reach places. Water flossers might be a good option if you have trouble flossing by hand or have dental work that makes flossing difficult, like braces or permanent or fixed bridges. Stick with it and you’ll have adopted a healthy habit for life.
WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO CLEAN BETWEEN YOUR TEETH—BEFORE OR AFTER BRUSHING?
The most important thing about cleaning between your teeth is to do it. As long as you do a thorough job, it doesn’t matter when.
Pick a time of day when you can devote an extra couple of minutes to your dental care. People who are too tired at the end of the day may benefit from cleaning between their teeth first thing in the morning or after lunch. Others might like to go to bed with a clean mouth.
And don’t forget, children need to clean between their teeth too! Start as soon as your child has two teeth that touch. Parents, children are not usually able to do a thorough job on their own until age 10 or 11.
Keep in mind that cleaning between your teeth should not be painful, There may be other issues occurring that you should have your dentist evaluate!