Interdental cleaning: which accessories to use?

interdental cleaning

Interdental cleaning is one of the best ways to habits to improve your oral hygiene. Yet this gesture is often neglected. Toothbrushes, whether manual or electric, can't reach every nook and cranny of the mouth, especially the spaces between the teeth. So you need to use other accessories to dislodge food residues. How to clean interdental spaces? Which interdental cleaning accessory should I choose? When and how to use a brush, floss or hydropulper? HELVIDENT answers all your questions in this article.

The importance of interdental cleaning

Did you know that the toothbrush only removes around 50 % of plaque? This is because the surfaces between teeth are difficult to reach. Nevertheless, this is where bacteria and plaque accumulate the most. Eventually, they damage your teeth and gums. As a result, you multiply your risk of developing tooth decay, an gingivitis or periodontitis.

Studies have shown that interdental cleaning removes up to 30 additional % of plaque. So it's a real mistake not to do so, as it contributes to maintaining a healthy mouth. It's never too late to adopt a new reflex that will improve your oral health!

How often should I clean the spaces between my teeth?

Visit Swiss Society of Dentists SSO recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day. Ideally, this should be after every meal and snack. In addition to brushing, we recommend a thorough cleaning of your mouth. This involves ridding the interdental spaces of food residues and plaque. 

The recommended frequency is once a day, preferably in the evening, before going to bed. Of course, if you don't manage to perform your oral hygiene routine in the evening, there's nothing to stop you from doing it at another time of day. It's also a good idea to do your interdental cleaning before brushing.

Children should also do this, as soon as their teeth touch. Parents are responsible for this until the children are old enough to do so, usually around age 11.

Which interdental cleaning accessory is right for you? 

There are a number of solutions to complement tooth brushing. In fact, you can choose from several interdental cleaning devices that will effectively remove food debris and plaque accumulated between your teeth. Here's a quick overview to help you choose the one that's right for you. You can use a single interdental accessory or combine several, depending on your needs.

Dental floss

Extremely fine, yet ultra-strong, dental floss is particularly suitable for :

  • people with very tight teeth
  • for implant and crown wearers.

Use a clean section of wire every time you change teeth. Don't press too hard to avoid irritating your gums.

The interdental brush

It could be described as a miniature toothbrush. This accessory consists of a handle and a small metal part to which soft bristles are attached. Brushes come in a range of sizes to fit the spaces between your teeth. Insert your brush between your teeth without forcing it. Use a back-and-forth motion, then rinse and allow to dry. You can use it several times until the bristles appear damaged.

The interdental stick

This rubber accessory is very easy to use. It is used in the same way as the interdental brush and is particularly suitable for beginners and people who suffer from gum sensitivity.

Electric interdental cleaning

Can't get to grips with conventional interdental cleaning aids? Consider trying out a hydropulper. This electric device produces a high-pressure jet of water to effectively remove plaque and food debris. It's a recommended solution for people who wear braces. 

Whatever accessory you plan to use, it's best to consult a dental hygienist in Fribourg, Lausanne or Aigle. He or she will teach you the right way to clean your teeth. HELVIDENT dental clinics welcome you in compliance with safety regulations. Our team includes all oral health professionals. Contact us to make an appointment.