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Victoria Ramos – D.M.D.  at Aleris Salem Dental Center
Elena Siniaver – D.M.D.  at Aleris Salem Dental Center

Cleaning between teeth: the secret behind a truly healthy smile

Do you clean in between teeth? Dental plaque is the primary factor for gingivitis (early gum disease) and dental caries.⁠ Plaque removal (good oral hygiene) reduces the incidence of dental caries and gum disease⁠.⁠ Brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste is recommended but may not be enough to remove plaque, especially from wires and brackets.⁠ Did you know that brushing with a toothbrush only cleans about 60% of your tooth surfaces, leaving plaque and nasty bacteria in between your teeth untouched? If bacteria are left to thrive and multiply, this can lead to many dental diseases, including dental decay and gum disease.

Cleaning Between Your Teeth is The Secret to a Healthy Smile
Dental Cleaning at Aleris Salem Dental Center

The best way to clean in between teeth is an interdental brush which helps to remove bacteria in all hard-to-reach places. It is an easy-to-use alternative to floss. Dentists and hygienists recommend using interdental brushes as part of your oral health routine to prevent gum disease, bad breath, and gingivitis. Interdental brushes are tiny brushes (available in many different sizes) that disturb disease-causing bacteria lurking between your teeth and below your gumline. They help clean spaces between teeth known as ‘black triangles’ through to areas affected by gum disease or missing teeth, plus getting around pesky orthodontic brackets!


An interdental brush is a small, tufted brush designed to get into the small spaces between the teeth. Its design also makes it perfect for getting to those hard-to-reach places underneath and around brace wires and brackets. Using an interdental brush once a day and regular tooth brushing is an effective way to keep your teeth and gums healthy during orthodontic treatment.⁠ Interdental brushes come in different sizes, and often you will need more than one brush to clean in and around teeth and braces effectively.⁠ They can be reused several times and should be rinsed after each use. There are many different brands, with each color representing a different size/diameter of the brush. Your dentist can help you select the correct size.


How to clean between teeth:

  • Gently insert your interdental brush in between your teeth. Do not force it in; choose a smaller size if it doesn’t fit.

  • Move the brush back and forth a few times to ensure you do not disturb and remove the bacteria colony hiding in between.

  • Do this once a day before brushing your teeth.

  • Don’t forget to replace the brush when the bristles become worn; this is usually four days - a week, but this depends on patient to patient.

If you use an interdental brush as part of your oral hygiene routine, talk to your dentist to ensure that you use the correct size interdental brush for your needs.


For more information about oral health assessment and dental cleaning, please call Aleris Salem Dental Center at (855) 745-0055 or contact us online. Schedule your consultation with the best dentists in Salem, MA!


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