Here in the UK, it’s fair to say that lots of us think of flossing as more of an American thing. But no matter how good your brushing technique is, cleaning between your teeth is still important too! Your brush can’t reach all areas of your mouth, and plaque can quickly build up within the tiny cracks in your teeth, leaving you potentially vulnerable to gum disease and decay. You can find dental floss within pharmacies and at major high street shops – and while you’re out there, interdental brushes are also definitely worth a look!
Basically, exactly what they sound like! Interdental brushes are specifically designed to clean in between your teeth – essentially, everywhere a normal toothbrush can’t reach – making them a great alternative/complement to dental floss. It’s best to use an interdental brush at least once every day. We’d suggest doing so in the evening, just after brushing your teeth ready for when you go to bed. Trust us, the difference might not be immediately obvious, but your oral health will quickly start to feel the benefit. As for which interdental brush to choose, our in-house hygienist here at AP Smilecare recommends TePes, whose small bristled heads are fantastic for cleaning pieces of food and plaque from in between your teeth.
If the idea of using an interdental brush sounds a little scary, don’t worry – TePes have plastic coating on the wire, so you don’t have to fret about painful scratches. Some have straight necks (which are particularly effective at cleaning between easily accessible areas like your front teeth) while others have pre-angled heads, making it easier to reach between teeth that are further into your mouth.
TePes are also used for the cleaning of implants and orthodontic appliances, so even if you’ve got adult braces, you can still feel the full benefit!
Like all the best appliances, TePes are actually fairly intuitive to use. We’ve even uploaded a very short demonstration of TePes onto our Instagram. If you can’t watch it for whatever reason, or you’re after a little more detail, we’ve explained it further below.
We’ve already mentioned that you should aim to clean your teeth at least once a day with interdental brushes for the best results. Another golden rule to remember, though, is that they come in several different sizes. If you’re finding that it hurts to use yours, you might be using one that’s too big for the gap! To avoid that, you might find that it’s easiest to start with the smallest size first, then work your way up.
Insert the brush gently into the gap between your teeth. Don’t force it – if it’s too tight, then just use a smaller brush. Move it back and forth a few times; it might be an odd sensation, but trust us, it’s very effective. For many smaller interdental brushes, it’s worth remembering that you can curve the soft neck by adding a gentle bit of pressure with your finger.
Work around the whole of your mouth so that you don’t miss any spaces or gaps between any teeth. You’re probably going to find that you’ll need at least two different brushes to do the whole of your mouth – one straight one and one curved one. Your gums might be a little tender, which means it’s possible that they’ll bleed as you start to get rid of the plaque build-up. Don’t worry, that’s normal. Just carry on using the TePes (or your chosen interdental brushes) as a regular part of your evening routine, and that bleeding will lessen as your gums become healthier.
Of course, if you’ve got any questions or concerns about using TePes, don’t ever hesitate to ask us here at AP Smilecare! Your oral health is our top priority – it’s one of the reasons why we include gum health and smile makeovers in our list of core dentistry services. Why not pop into our dental clinic in Blackburn, and see what we can do for you?
Posted on: 22nd May, 2018