When you clean your teeth with a toothbrush you are cleaning approximately 60% of the tooth's surface. The other 40% of the tooth's surface is where your teeth are placed next to each other in your mouth and at the gum line. These surfaces are just as important to clean, particularly to prevent gum disease, such as periodontitis and gingivitis, but are hard to reach.
Gingivitis is gum inflammation, which if left untreated can lead to periodontitis; the loss of bone that supports the teeth. This, in turn, can lead to tooth loss.
So what is the answer to cleaning teeth properly?
Your dentist or hygienist might recommend particular products for you to use. These might include interdental brushes, floss or plastic toothpick products made by Oral B, Tepe and Piksters. Some are stocked here at Market Place Dental.
Interdental brushes come in many sizes to fit small to very large gaps. They are ideal for hard to reach areas such as between back teeth. Their bristles are designed to remove debris, such as food and plaque, from the gaps between your teeth that a toothbrush is unable to reach.
Your dentist or hygienist will be able to advise which size/s to use for your teeth.
Dental floss is designed to fit in tiny spaces between your teeth and gum line, removing debris such as food and plaque.
Floss products come in different forms such as within plastic handles, on a reel and with stiffened ends for threading through tricky spaces such as braces and bridges. At Market Place Dental we find the waxed tapes such as Oral-B Pro Expert Premium Floss and Oral-B Super Floss are good as they flow easily through the contact points between teeth.
Plastic toothpicks such as the TePe EasyPick™ offer an easy and efficient way to clean between the teeth. The EasyPick™ is available in slightly conical sizes that fit narrow as well as wider spaces.
Products such as these, have the advantage of easily cleaning harder to reach areas of teeth while wearing fixed braces.
Patients are often concerned at the high environmental impact of using these products. Both Tepe and Piksters are addressing customers' concerns with revisions to their products. Oral B have outlined goals in a sustainability plan.
Tepe has replaced fossil raw material with fossil-free pine oils; https://www.tepe.com/uk/sustainability/
Piksters have introduced a bamboo range; https://piksters.com/bamboo-piksters-an-eco-friendly-choice-for-teeth
Oral B outline their sustainability plan; https://www.oralb.co.uk/en-gb/oral-health-sustainability