What is Interdental Cleaning And Why Is It Important?


Interdental cleaning is simply cleaning between your teeth. With increased awareness of flossing and its relation to preventing gingivitis, companies have been marketing innovative ways to clean those hard-to-reach areas between the teeth. Yet something as simple as dental floss has proven its efficacy over and over. Nonetheless, some of the innovations have merit while others may do nothing at all. Others may be dangerous. In this article, we’ll discuss interdental cleaning at which techniques work best.

Why is interdental cleaning important?

Interdental cleaning simply reduces your risk of gingivitis and plaque. While brushing and flossing are still the best one-two punch in terms of dental hygiene, there are numerous innovations that are hitting the market now. Some of them make scientific sense (like water picks or interdental toothbrushes). Others are based on unstudied individual reports. No one, however, is disputing that interdental cleaning is important to your oral hygiene. The debate only surrounds which methods are the most effective.

What works for interdental cleaning?

Dentists have not found anything better than brushing, flossing, and rinsing. However, debate surrounds which toothpastes are the most effective, which brushes are the most effective, and whether or not flossing is the best way to remove plaque. According to one study, flossing is less effective than water picks, yet even there, the study’s author does not go so far as to say that you should stop flossing and start using water picks. In fact, not flossing is a bad idea.

Consider, for instance, that when you brush your teeth you remove 80% of the plaque in your mouth. Flossing removes another 10%. You’re still left with 10% of the plaque in hard-to-reach places. In this case, a water pick may help get closer to 100%.

What’s better than flossing? Well, interdental brushes tend to work better than basic dental floss. They can reach the same areas that dental floss reaches, but because there is more surface area on the brush, the brushes work better than floss. That being said, while interdental brushes are smaller than typical brushes, they may not be able to reach between teeth that are tightly packed together.

So, if you want to align your dental hygiene habits with the latest research, you should add interdental brushes and a water pick. You will still need to floss, but these methods have shown promise that they work better than just flossing alone.

What should I avoid?

Avoid niche toothpaste. Some, including triclosan toothpaste and oral rinses, have proven effective at reducing gingivitis, but have been shown to cause cancer. In addition, electric-powered toothbrushes were no better at reducing plaque than standard toothbrushes. In some cases, they actually reduced the efficacy of brushing. While probiotics are popular, there is no evidence they reduce plaque or gum disease.

If you have any questions concerning treatment, please don’t hesitate to call the Arizona dentists at Peak Family Dental Care today and we can discuss the latest approaches to oral hygiene.

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