Dental floss versus interdental brushes: Which is better for your teeth?
Posted on 13th December 2018 at 11:54
Regular brushing is essential for good oral hygiene but brushing alone is not enough to prevent gum disease – you also need a dental aid that will clean the areas between your teeth. With several options for interdental cleaning, how do you know which to choose? Here’s an overview of the two most popular options.
Why do I need to clean between my teeth?
Interdental cleaning finishes the job that your toothbrush started – it cleans the surfaces between your tooth that your toothbrush can’t reach. If you don’t clean in between your teeth you will miss about a third of each tooth surface every day, which can lead to a build-up of plaque deposits and food debris. When left untreated, this can cause tooth decay and gum disease.
What’s the difference between flossing and interdental brushing?
Flossing involves the use of tape or string to clean the areas between the teeth by sliding the dental floss back and forth down to the gumline. There are many different types of dental floss available, including tape that is broader and flatter than standard floss; waxed and unwaxed versions of standard dental floss; and floss picks, which come with an easy-grip handle for more manoeuvrability.
Interdental brushing uses small reusable brushes that can be pushed through the spaces between your teeth. The brushes are available in different sizes, so you can choose the brush that best fits each gap. They are most effective when changed weekly, or when the bristles become worn or bent.
Are interdental brushes easier to use than dental floss?
A recent survey conducted by the Oral Health Foundation found that more than a third (34%) of British adults use interdental brushes, overtaking the number of people using traditional floss (31%) for the first time. Patients who lack the dexterity to use dental floss often find interdental brushes easier to use, which can give them the motivation they need to incorporate interdental cleaning into their regular oral hygiene routine.
Which method do you recommend?
When it comes to oral hygiene, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Here at Park Dental Care, we treat every patient individually, giving personalised oral health advice based on factors such as:
The size of the gaps between the teeth.
The manual dexterity of the patient.
Whether there are symptoms of gum disease.
Whether patients have dental bridges, implants, or braces.
Often, a combination of flossing and interdental brushing in different areas of the mouth provides the best results for peak oral hygiene. If you are interested in learning more about the best option for you, please contact us to schedule an appointment. We look forward to your visit.
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