Even if you do brush your teeth twice a day, you also need to clean in between your teeth to get rid of trapped food debris that can cause hidden cavities. Food debris and bacteria can cause plaque accumulation that can eat away at the enamel on the surface of your teeth and cause cavities, with you being none the wiser.
Although some people question whether flossing really helps, cleaning between your teeth is an essential part of your daily oral health care regimen.
If you are lying on your bed about to fall asleep and you find out there is something stuck in between your teeth, it can be pretty tempting to remove it with whatever you have handy. According to a study, about 61% of Americans use fingernails, 40% use a folded card, 21% use cutlery, 14% use safety pins, and 7% use strands of hair to clean in between their teeth. However, these impromptu improvised objects not only provide insufficient cleaning, they can also damage your mouth. In fact, about 42% people say they have felt pain when they used unusual items to clean their teeth.
Instead, dentist-approved interdental cleaners like floss, water flossers, dental picks, and tiny brushes should be used to clean in between your teeth. Dental picks can easily reach teeth set far in the back while water flossers is a good option for people who have trouble using dental floss. Products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance are the best products to clean between your teeth.
As long as you remember to clean in between your teeth, it doesn’t really matter when. You can pick any time of the day when you can devote a few minutes to flossing or other type of interdental cleaning. A lot of people prefer to floss in the night so that plaque does not have time to accumulate by morning and they have a clean mouth in the morning. Others, who are too tired at the end of the day, however, may prefer to floss in the morning or after lunch.
Remember that children as young as three need to floss too. You can start them on interdental cleaning as soon as they get two teeth that are very close to each other. Since children cannot clean efficiently on their own, they will need your help to do a good job by the time they are 8 or 10. Remember that your interdental cleaning ritual should not be painful. It is normal to feel a little discomfort when you first start cleaning in between your teeth, but with time you will get used to it. If issues persist, you can get an appointment with us by calling us.Â