Today I will introduce different types of interdental cleaner to help you to clean your teeth better, especially for people with braces or other dental implants.

Have you experienced any food stuck in between your teeth when you were eating? Did you do anything to remove that food debris? Do you know that the food debris in between the teeth will collect plaque, harbors a lot of bacteria, leading to tooth decay and even gum disease? According to a study, there were more decay in the upper jaw than lower jaw. And except molars, interdental surfaces (surface between teeth) of all teeth have the most decay, ranging from 58.5% to 77.5%.

If we don’t floss, 35% of our teeth are not cleaned properly.

This is because toothbrush bristles ALONE cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Dental floss (or dental tape) and other interdental cleaners (e.g. dental picks, interdental brush, or water flosser) removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it has a chance to harden into plaque.

There was a study comparing regular flossing (5 days a week) with intermittent flossing (once every 3 months), and they found out that the decay in between teeth was much more reduced if flossed regularly. Interdental cleaners will help in further plaque reduction when used together with normal toothbrushes.

Floss was once made from silk fibers twisted to form a long strand. Today, floss is usually made from nylon filaments or plastic monofilaments. There is no difference in the effectiveness of waxed or unwaxed floss, although rare cases of allergic reaction to waxed or coated floss have been reported. It’s generally not what type of floss is used, but how and when it’s used.

Super floss is a type of floss with stiffer ends to allow braces patients or people dental implants or bridges to clean properly. You can use the floss pick if you feel regular floss is hard to use. But it might be more difficult to clean especially the back teeth because the cheek might block your way.

Interdental brush is like a baby-bottle cleaner that are available in different sizes to match the space between teeth. Suitable for patients with braces, crowns, bridges, implants, etc., or patient suffering from gum diseases with open spaces between their teeth. Interdental brush may be very useful in cleaning than normal floss, but you need to choose the right size to match the space in between your teeth to clean effectively.

Water floss might be a very handy tool to clean the spaces between our teeth too! A study done to compare both water floss and regular floss and they found out that both of them are equally efficient in removing interdental plaque on single use. Water floss could be recommended for subjects lacking manual dexterity, by caretakers for better plaque control and anyone with braces, implants, dental bridges etc. However it could be quite pricey compared to other interdental cleaners.

Here’s some tips for you to choose the floss that suits you:

If you feel you have good dexterity, the regular floss is good enough for you. But if you have braces inside your mouth or implants/ bridges and you feel you can manipulate the floss well, super floss may be useful for you. If you lack manual dexterity, having any dental appliances inside your mouth or finding hard to clean your teeth, the water floss may be a better choice. If you want to try the floss pick, it might be easier for front teeth, but a bit of a hassle for back tooth. If you have gum disease or some open gaps between your teeth, can try the interdental brush, but with the correct size.

Hope the information above helps you in some ways.

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