Whilst it may not be true for everyone, most of us do brush our teeth twice a day.
Whilst this is the most basic thing that we can do to keep our teeth clean, on its own though, it isn’t enough and dental problems are still likely to occur.
One of the problems is that both food and bacteria have a tendency to collect in places that a toothbrush barely touches. It is important, therefore, to take a little extra time to keep these areas clean.
There are two particular issues that are likely to arise if you do not clean between your teeth. They are tooth decay and gum disease.
Decay occurs when bacteria start to eat away at the enamel of our teeth, exposing the more vulnerable dentin layer beneath. Whilst we brush most of the bacteria away from the front, and hopefully rear, surfaces of our teeth, brushing does not clean in between our teeth very effectively. This allows ‘bad’ bacteria to multiply, and eventually cause that area of the tooth to start to decay.
Hopefully, most of our local Cheshunt patients follow the guidance of the hygienist and lightly brush their gums as well as their teeth. This is a great start, but, as with decay, the build up of bacteria and tartar between the teeth can lead to gingivitis, and possibly even periodontitis, unless action is taken to clean there.
Cleaning in between the teeth is not overly difficult and just requires a little extra effort. There are a number of ways in which you can help to keep your teeth and gums healthy in these areas.
Swill – Although not the most effective cleaning method by far, swilling some water around your mouth after eating will at least remove some of the food that becomes stuck between the teeth. This is definitely an ‘add on’ though and on its own is of limited benefit. Chewing sugar free gum may also help as another useful ‘add on’ to your oral care regimen.
Flossing – This is the best way to clean between your teeth, and the dentists at The Lodge Dental Suite are very happy to demonstrate how to do this if you find it difficult. Flossing sticks are also available which some people may find useful. Waterpiks which ‘blast’ fine jets of water between the teeth have also become popular, although the jury is out as to just how effective these are. Flossing would be our recommended method.
Hygienist cleaning – With the best will in the world, we are unlikely to be able to remove all the harmful bacteria from between our teeth and periodic thorough cleaning will still be required. Seeing our Cheshunt dental hygienist is the best way to do this and makes sure that your teeth and gums are as healthy as they possible can be. This non-invasive treatment will also leave your mouth feeling fresher than before.
So however well you clean your teeth at home, you still need to see the dentist and hygienist on a regular basis. To arrange to see either at The Lodge Dental Suite, please call our Cheshunt practice on 01992 643388.