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Dental floss

Dental floss vs. Water pick: The best Interdental Cleaning

Interdental cleaning is another name for the process of cleaning between the teeth. Decay typically begins on the chewing surfaces of teeth as well as the place between teeth where they come into contact with one another.

Plaque and ingested bits of food tend to cling to the teeth in these locations. These food particles can be transformed into acid by the bacteria that are present in plaque. This acid is the primary factor in the development of cavities and gum disease.

As a result, you have to be conscious of the fact that plaque is continuously being created despite your best efforts. It is impossible to stop the production or proliferation of plaque. Brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day, along with using other dental aids, is the only way to keep it under control. Along with this, you are required to have your teeth scaled and polished by a dentist once every six months.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you brush your teeth at least twice per day and floss at least once per day to maintain healthy teeth and gums. In order to maintain healthy teeth and gums, this helps remove plaque, bacteria, and food particles from the teeth. The majority of patients are able to wash their teeth twice daily, however many of them still have trouble cleaning between their teeth.

It’s possible that this is due to a lack of time, convenience, or even inability (people with multiple sclerosis). There are a number of interproximal tools available, which is a fortunate development. The majority of people have heard of floss, but they aren’t aware that there are alternative solutions available. If you have trouble cleaning in between your teeth on a regular basis, using one of these interdental cleaners could be a more convenient solution for you.

Essentially daily routines to prevent decay and gum disease

At least once every day, you should floss and brush your teeth to remove food particles and plaque from between your teeth. Brushing your teeth is important, but you can’t clean in between your teeth with a toothbrush. Cleaning between the teeth are made possible by the use of the following :

  • Dental floss
  • Inter-dental brushes
  • Water pick
  • Toothbrush.

Dental Floss

Dental floss

Its purpose is to remove plaque and food particles that have accumulated below the gum line and in the spaces between your teeth. It is available with a variety of seasonings, coatings, and thicknesses. It is comprised of a waxy strand of plastic or nylon filaments that are flexible and can be stretched.

You even have the option of selecting environmentally friendly alternatives such as biodegradable and renewable silk floss as well as vegan waxes.

How to use dental floss

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Remove about 18 inches of floss from the spool
  2. Roll the remaining excess around middle fingers
  3. Hold floss between thumbs and index fingers of both hands
  4. Gently slide floss between teeth, do not force it into the gums
  5. Wrap floss against the edge of a tooth to form a “C” shape
  6. Use gentle up and down motions to clean the area
  7. Glide floss gently into the gumline
  8. Repeat each process for every tooth surface
  9. When you’re finished, rinse your mouth and dispose of the floss

Pros and cons of dental floss

It is not necessary to first use a lubricant, a mirror, or a sink in order to floss your teeth. because floss can easily navigate through the tight areas between the teeth. There is little or no damage to the soft tissue, even with excessive pressure. This method is also hygienic because you only use a piece of floss once before disposing it.

You will have an easier time cleaning the whole surface of each tooth as well as the spaces in between them. Floss is excellent for cleaning flat surfaces but is ineffective at cleaning the concavities between teeth. Also, flossing might be difficult for many people because they lack the mobility or dental tools necessary to do it effectively.

Floss can harbor more plaque behind the waxy layer. Nevertheless, it is not only cheap but also wasteful. If a person flosses their teeth once a day for their whole life, they will go through nearly 5 miles of floss.

Water Pick

Water pick

This device, which can also be referred to as an oral irrigator or dental water jet, is excellent for removing plaque and bacteria from the teeth. It does this by directing a pulsing stream of water towards the teeth at pressures ranging from 5 to 90 psi. The water pick consists of a tank and pump on one end, a handle with a button to let the water out, and a tip that can direct the flow of a narrow stream of water on the other end.

How to use a water pick

These are the steps to follow:

  1. Fill the reservoir with warm water, and place it on the base
  2. Choose the right tip and attach to the handle
  3. Start with the pressure control on low, and work your way up to a medium pressure
  4. Lean over the sink and place the tip inside the mouth
  5. Turn the unit on
  6. Start cleaning on and around back teeth of the upper jaw
  7. Aim tip at a 90-degree angle just above the gumline
  8. Work your way to the front, pausing briefly between each tooth
  9. Repeat with bottom teeth

Pros and cons of a water pick

The use of a water pick is a far simpler alternative to the use of other dental instruments, and it is also significantly more effective than floss in preventing gingival bleeding. Additionally, it removes dental plaque, but not as effectively as floss would, and it lowers the likelihood that you will get gingivitis.

This device is designed for users who have had multiple major restorations, are undergoing orthodontic treatment, or have difficulty flossing on a regular basis. Dentists frequently suggest that their patients use this device. It is also effective for treating individual patients who have chronic gum disease or gum sensitivity. This makes it a very useful tool.

On the other hand, the price of this equipment is significantly higher than that of dental floss. Because you may spray water virtually everywhere and the tip needs to be changed every three to six months, learning how to use it and doing so is not a simple task. In addition, if you use too much pressure with the water pick, you run the risk of accidently pushing food deeper into the soft tissue rather than removing it.

Interdental Brush

Interdental Brush

This is a small-headed brush with a thin bristle that can be formed like a cone or a round. To assist you in gently cleaning between your teeth, the bristles are attached to a thin wire that is then affixed to a handle that is either small or uniquely shaped.

The brushes are available in a variety of sizes and have been developed and constructed to comfortably fit in the spaces between individual teeth. It shouldn’t be necessary to apply any force to the brush, and it shouldn’t seem strung out either. You can switch to using dental floss in the event that even the smallest toothbrush is unable to access all of the spaces between your teeth.

You might use one size for your front teeth and a different size for your rear teeth, depending on how much room there is between each of your teeth in your mouth. An interdental brush performs many of the same functions as a traditional toothbrush. After you’re finished using it, give it a good rinse, and if any of the bristles are worn out, replace them.

How to use interdental brushes

These are the steps you should follow:

  1. Brush in front of a mirror
  2. Lubricate the brush with water, paste or gel
  3. Hold the brush like a pencil
  4. Start on top rear and work your way around
  5. Slowly slide the tip into the interdental triangle (gap formed by the gum and two teeth)
  6. Slowly move it back and forth along the tooth surface 2 or 3 times, angling to clean both sides of both teeth
  7. When brushing molars, clean from both the inner and outer sides
  8. Continue to each gap between teeth, then repeat on the top
  9. Rinse your mouth and your brush with warm water

Pros and cons of interdental brushes

This interproximal instrument is designed for use by a person who has significant gaps in between their teeth. Because of these spaces, it can be challenging to effectively utilize dental floss, and the interdental brush is a more effective alternative.

Because it is less difficult to control, this brush is also an excellent choice for individuals who have restricted mobility or who wear braces. Additionally, it can assist in cleaning in the areas between restorations including as dentures, bridges, and implants.

Some individuals enjoy using the brush since it may be used with just one hand. The primary drawbacks include the fact that the toothbrushes are far more expensive than floss, that they need to be lubricated or moist before use, and that the wire center might cause injury to the gums.

Additionally, once being used, the brush will never be entirely free of germs again. Additionally, the gums are more likely to become irritated when using these brushes.

Which one do you choose?

You should talk to your dentist if you don’t like to floss or if you can’t gently slide the little string in your mouth. Both of these issues could indicate a problem with your oral hygiene. It’s possible that interdental brushes or a water pick are the most effective tools for you to use.

These items are simple to employ and are backed by solid study and data from the scientific community. Even if you floss on a daily basis, you should also think about using an interdental brush or a water pick to complement your oral hygiene habits.

Consult your dentist or dental hygienist if you do not understand how to use any of these dental tools. He or she will provide you with the correct instructions, as well as select the most appropriate interdental cleaning for your requirements.

Chukwuebuka Martins

Chukwuebuka Martins is a writer, researcher, and health enthusiast who specializes in human physiology. He takes great pleasure in penning informative articles on many aspects of physical wellness, which he then thoroughly enjoys sharing to the general public.

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