For most people, a steady regimen of brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash gets the job done. But depending on the state of your mouth, you may want to invest in other cleaning tools. Here are three to consider.
Interdental cleaners — If you have large spaces between your teeth, you won’t get the flossing leverage you would get with a regular set of pearly whites. An interdental cleaner is large enough to fill the space and get rid of the buildup. Some look like tiny brushes. Others look like three-sided wide toothpicks. They’re also effective for people with braces who can’t get to the top of their gums with floss. You can find interdental cleaners at most drugstores.
Oral irrigators — If you’re sensitive to flossing or you just think it’s gross (a lot of people do), an oral irrigator will pump a strong stream of water to remove food particles that build up. And you’re not limited to filling them up with water. If you’ve been prescribed an oral rinse after dental surgery, you can use an oral irrigator to direct the rinse into gum pockets. Keep in mind that oral irrigators are electrical, so exercise caution when you use them and don’t get them too close to running water.
Interdental tip — If you find flossing to difficult, you can switch to an interdental tip, a handheld tool you can use instead of floss to get between your teeth. Keep in mind that it’s a little more difficult to get between the back teeth with an interdental tip, but with a little practice, you should have no problem over time.
If you’re curious about using any of these tools, talk to us at your next appointment and we’ll help you pick the right brands.