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Flossing vs Interdental Brushes – Which Should You Use?

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flossing or interdental brushes

Flossing vs Interdental Brushes – Which Should You Use?

It’s well-known that flossing is as important as brushing our teeth. However, there have been many debates about whether flossing is as effective as we thought it was. Interdental brushing has also proven to be a very helpful method in removing plaque and preventing gum disease. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what makes both methods useful for our overall dental care.

Why Do You Need Flossing?

Flossing, a traditional method passed down through generations, involves using a thin piece of string to clean between teeth. The simplicity of this approach has made it a fundamental in oral care routines. Its flexibility allows for precise cleaning, reaching tight spaces that other tools may find challenging.

Pros of Flossing:

  1. Precision Cleaning: Flossing excels in reaching areas between teeth where food particles and plaque commonly accumulate.
  2. Portability: Floss is easily portable, making it a convenient choice for those on the go.
  3. Cost-Effective: Floss is widely available and tends to be a budget-friendly option.

Why Do You Need Interdental Brushes?

Interdental brushes, a more recent addition to oral care, consist of small brushes designed to fit between teeth. This alternative to traditional flossing offers a distinct set of advantages, particularly in terms of accessibility and user-friendly design.

Pros of Interdental Brushes:

  1. Ease of Use: Interdental brushes, with their small bristle heads, make reaching between teeth straightforward.
  2. Reusable: Many interdental brushes are reusable, providing a more sustainable option compared to disposable floss.
  3. Suitable for Braces or Dental Work: The design of interdental brushes makes them effective for those with braces or dental implants.

Isn’t Brushing Teeth Alone Enough?

No, brushing your teeth alone is not always enough to maintain oral hygiene. While brushing is essential for removing plaque and food particles, it may not reach all areas of the mouth, such as between teeth and along the gumline. Therefore, it’s important to complement brushing with flossing and interdental brushes, using mouthwash, and regular dental check-ups to ensure comprehensive oral care.

Why Is It Best To Combine Flossing and Interdental Brushes?

When deciding between flossing and interdental brushes, personal preference and individual dental needs play a crucial role. For those who prioritise precision and are comfortable with a traditional approach, flossing may be the preferred choice. On the other hand, individuals seeking convenience and a modern solution might find interdental brushes better suited to their lifestyle.

However, the best approach is to combine these methods: using both floss and interdental brushes can create a comprehensive oral care routine, ensuring that all areas between teeth are effectively cleaned. the British Society of Periodontology said: ‘Evidence supports the use of small interdental brushes for cleaning between the teeth where there is space to do so, in preference to flossing… Floss is not a waste of time – it is a viable alternative to interdental brushing where appropriate’.

So, if you want to use both methods, we advise using flossing when there’s no visible gap between teeth; in other cases, it’s better to use an interdental brush.

In Which Order Is It Best To Brush Teeth, Use Mouthwash, Floss and Use Interdental Brushes?

The recommended order for oral care routine is as follows:

  1. Flossing: Start by flossing between your teeth to remove plaque and food particles.
  2. Brushing: Next, brush your teeth using fluoride toothpaste for at least two minutes, making sure to cover all surfaces of your teeth.
  3. Using Interdental Brushes: If you use interdental brushes, you can use them after brushing to clean between your teeth and along the gumline.
  4. Mouthwash: Finally, later you can rinse with mouthwash to help reduce bacteria and freshen your breath whenever you feel it’s needed: after drinks and food.

Can You Overclean Your Teeth?

Yes, it is possible to overclean your teeth. Brushing your teeth too vigorously or too frequently can lead to damage to the enamel, gum recession, and tooth sensitivity. Additionally, excessive use of abrasive toothpaste or brushing too soon after consuming acidic foods or drinks can also contribute to enamel erosion. It’s important to brush your teeth gently yet thoroughly, following dental guidelines for brushing technique and frequency, typically recommended twice a day for two minutes each time. If you have concerns about your oral hygiene routine, it’s best to consult with us for personalised advice.

Get in touch with us today and we’ll be happy to help!

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