By regularly cleaning between your teeth, you are preventing formation of cavities and gum disease. It also helps in removing a sticky film called plaque. It’s important to remove plaque because it contains bacteria that feed on leftover food or sugar in your mouth. If that happens, it will release an acid that can eat away at the outer shell of your teeth which causes cavities.
If plaque is not removed by brushing or cleaning between your teeth, it could turn into a rough substance called tartar. When tartar builds up along your gum line, it could lead to a gum disease. Once tartar forms, only your dentist can get rid of it.
Ideally, we should floss at least once a day, but not everyone knows the right way to do it. Follow the steps below to find out how to properly floss your teeth:
|Take about 18 inches of floss and wrap most of it around one of your middle fingers. The remaining floss should be wrapped around the same finger of the opposite hand.|
|Hold the floss as tight as possible between your thumbs and forefingers.|
|Using a gentle rubbing motion, carefully guide the floss between your teeth. Never snap the floss into the gums.|
|When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it making a C-shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between your gum and tooth.|
|Make sure that you’re holding the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum in up and down motion. Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth. Don’t forget to clean also the back side of your last tooth.|
Once it’s all done, throw the floss away. Never use it again because a used piece of floss won’t be as effective and it could leave more bacteria behind in your mouth.
When’s the Best Time to Clean Between my Teeth?
It actually doesn’t matter when, as long as you do a thorough job when you clean between your teeth. Choose a time that is convenient for you where you can devote a few extra minutes to your dental care routine. If you are someone who is usually too tired at the end of the day, you will benefit from cleaning between your teeth first thing in the morning and after lunch. What’s really important about cleaning between your teeth is to actually do it.
Also, children need to clean between their teeth as well. You should start as soon as your child has two teeth that touch. This is because cleaning between teeth demands more manual ability than very young children have. Usually, children are not able to do a thorough job on their own until they reach 10 or 11 years old.
It’s normal to feel discomfort when you first start to clean between your teeth but keep in mind that it should not be painful. If you do it too hard, you’ll end up damaging the tissue between your teeth. And if you’re too gentle, you might not be cleaning it thoroughly. If you still experience pain while cleaning between your teeth, it’s best to see a dentist.