You can clean between your teeth with an ‘inter dental’ brush or dental floss. Dental tape is thicker than floss and many people find it easier to use. Cleaning in between your teeth removes plaque and bits of food from between your teeth and under your gum line.
Try this simple way to floss easily :
- Break off about 45 centimetres (18 inches) of floss, and wind most of it around one of your middle fingers. Wind the remaining floss around the same finger of the other hand. As you use the floss, you will take up the used section with this finger
- Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs 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 your 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.
- Don’t forget the back of your last tooth.
- When flossing, keep to a regular pattern. Start at the top and work from left to right, then move to the bottom and again work from the left to right. This way you’re less likely to miss any teeth. At first it also helps to look in the mirror.
- It is also very important to clean around the edges of any crowns, bridges or implants. This can be difficult to do effectively using traditional floss and there are now specialised flosses to do the job thoroughly. Ask your dental team which product to use and how to use it properly.