The F word….(Flossing of course!)

The importance of interdental cleaning

Every time you go to the dentist you a re asked about your interdental cleaning routine, what do you use? How often? Most of the time you feel guilty and lie because you don’t actually have a regime. I am going to explain why interdental cleaning is so important and why you should feel ever so slightly guilty if you don’t have one!

Biscuits, cakes, cookies and fizzy drinks all the yummy foods you crave are the devil where your teeth are concerned. The bacterium in your mouth combines with the proteins and food by products to create a sticky film that coats the teeth, commonly known as tartar. If the tartar builds on the front of the teeth then you can spot it yourself using a mirror however tartar is sneaky and likes to go behind the teeth, in-between and under the gums, places that you can’t spot yourself.

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Once tartar has formed it can be the advocate for several problems; firstly your gums, it can irritate and make them very sore which is often why they bleed. Eventually this becomes ‘gingivitis’ a mild form of gum disease and it can also slowly penetrate the layers and becomes periodontitis.  It also can slowly get through the layers of the teeth to form cavities, again when spotted early it is a lot easier to treat but when left it can get through many layers and need more extensive treatment.

So how do we prevent this tartar forming in between our teeth?

  • Firstly the standard option is flossing, once a day is enough. You can get original floss, waxed floss, mint floss, satin floss or flossettes which are a great tool if you find the handling of floss too tricky.  If you have a bit more going on such as braces or a bridge and you’re thinking that neither of those products are useful to you well you’re not getting out of it that easily, super floss is the ideal thing for you! This stuff is made a bit thicker and can go underneath dentures and through wires.

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  • Next up is my favourite, tepe brushes; small wire brushes that go through the gap of the teeth at the base. These come in several different sizes so you can accommodate the different gaps in your mouth. Your dentist or hygienist can advise you which size would be best for your teeth. Visit us at our practice in Canary Wharf for more detailed information on which brush is best for you.
  • Mouth wash has a world of its own! They all have a specific use so going to the supermarket and picking one yourself is like picking one blind folded! Some, when over-used can stain and some can cause more damage than help.

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  • Getting advice first is definitely the right way to go. Most mouthwashes that contain fluoride are the ones that help prevent cavities such as Fluorigard. Speak to one of our dentists of our lovely hygienist to find out which mouthwash would be best for you, call us on 02075311717 to book your appointment.
  • The correct toothbrush is vital; different sized heads, different rotations, soft brush or hard brush? How can you decide what options are best for you teeth? Everyone’s teeth are different and the only way to really know is to get a professional opinion.

Once you have tartar build up, it cannot be removed manually it must be done by a hygienist or a dentist. Our hygienist Yana knows which mouthwash / interdental gadget and toothbrush it is that you need to help prevent plaque build-up. We have all the products here so she can give you a demonstration, you can even buy them after your appointment if it is more convenient for you.

If you would like more information on our hygiene appointments and the Oral Hygiene Advice please call us on 0207 531 1717, or you can email us at info@platinumdentalcare.co.uk. We’re waiting to help you.

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