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Do you clean between your teeth?

What you need to know about cleaning between your teeth.

Written by Agencies |Updated : March 4, 2014 7:10 PM IST

goodsmileIf we ask 10 people this question, 9 out of 10 are likely to say, 'I use a toothpick whenever there is food stuck between my teeth'. What these people do not know is that it is not only an ineffective way to clean between teeth but also that toothpicks can actually be harmful if used frequently or aggressively.

The first thing you need to know is that cleaning between teeth isn't only about removing food particles that get stuck in between them. In fact, if this happens too often, it's time you consult a dentist. If this problem has persisted for a long time, you may have mal-positioned (crooked) teeth. If the condition has been around for a shorter period of time, it may be because of a cavity on the sides of the tooth or teeth. The gaps could also be due to badly done or old fillings, badly fitted dental crowns (or caps).

You may also have long standing gum disease which could have led to loss of bone between the teeth. In the case of healthy teeth and gums, the gaps between teeth are filled with bone and gums covering it. When gum disease progresses to periodontal disease, the interdental bone is lost, leading to larger gaps between teeth.

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Interdental cleaning also becomes an absolute necessity if you have bridges, orthodontic treatment (or braces) or implants in your mouth.

Now, the problem with all the above causes for formation of gaps between teeth is plaque. You might be brushing twice a day but still could have plaque between your teeth. Using interdental aids like floss or interdental brushes is the only way you can ensure plaque removal between teeth. (Also read: Are you brushing your teeth right?)

If your teeth are healthy and you do not have large gaps, your best bet would be to use dental floss. If you do not know how to use one, ask your dentist to show you.

If the gaps are larger, use an interdental brush specially designed for the purpose. It is shaped like a mini bottle brush and comes in various sizes. They are also available as kits with brush refills that can be attached to the handles with a 'snap lock' mechanism. These gaps can also be cleaned with toothbrushes having multi-level bristles.

Follow the aforementioned instructions to ensure that the space between your teeth remain clean and germ-free!

Also read: Get whiter teeth with these 8 simple tips

The post Do you clean between your teeth? appeared first on Colgate Total Blog.

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