Brushing teeth twice a day is the mantra drilled in from an early age. However, one leading dental expert is advising of the importance of not neglecting the gaps between teeth which, if overlooked, can lead to disease and tooth loss. As part of National Smile Month which starts on 18 May, oral health specialist Molar has drawn up a list of the top eight reasons to clean in between your teeth and how dental woes can be avoided with a simple interdental brushing routine.
THE TOP EIGHT REASONS TO MIND THE GAP
Reason 1: Gum disease. Even the most advanced toothbrush won’t remove plaque from between teeth. Continued plaque build-up causes gum inflammation and redness (gingivitis). In worst cases, inflammation can affect the supporting structure of the teeth causing them to become loose and eventually fall out. Interdental brushes can remove hidden plaque where the toothbrush can’t reach.
Reason 2: Bad breath. Food and plaque left in between teeth will stagnate and cause bad breath. In fact, 85% of halitosis or bad breath comes from the mouth. Regular interdental brushing will get in between tight spots to remove trapped particles and plaque.
Reason 3: Stain build up. Tea, red wine, smoking and blue cheese can all stain teeth but, contrary to popular belief, it’s not the tooth surface that stains initially. It is the build up of plaque and tartar on the tooth surface that becomes stained which explains why it can be polished away at a routine hygienist appointment. Interdental brushing and flossing removes plaque in the gaps which can reduce and eliminate staining.
Reason 4: Interdental inflammation and bleeding gums. In healthy individuals, tooth brushing shouldn’t cause gums to bleed, but if it does, it signals gum disease. Brushing twice daily with a small headed, medium filament toothbrush aimed at the gum line as well as the tooth surfaces, coupled with interdental brushing once a day, will remove the plaque bacteria that causes the inflammation. Adopting this routine daily will reduce inflammation and stop bleeding within days.
Reason 5: Tooth decay. Plaque acids are produced every time we eat carbohydrates. Cutting back on the frequency and amount of sugary food and drink will reduce the risk of tooth decay but because it often starts between the teeth, interdental brushing and flossing is the only way to effectively clean away the acid producing plaque from these surfaces.
Reason 6: Heart disease. Experts have long since suspected a link between gum disease and heart disease. Evidence is increasing to support these observations1. Interdental cleaning is the only way of effectively removing plaque from between teeth.
Reason 7: To maintain crowns, bridges and implants. Extra attention should be paid to cleaning around crowns, bridges and implants but these are areas often overlooked, especially prosthetics that fit on or below the gum margin. The supporting gums around these areas are just as prone to gum disease as natural teeth and can need additional cleaning tools and techniques to keep them healthy and plaque-free. Interdental brushes are a safe and effective way to help keep even the most complex dental work clean.
Reason 8: Interdental cleaning is so easy. Interdental brushes are simple to use and effective on the majority of tooth spaces, especially at the back of the mouth. They are far easier to manage than floss and tape, but size is important.
Molar’s award-winning and market leading TePe Interdental Brushes are comfortable and easy to use and come in eight different colour-coded sizes for different spacing needs. £3.25 with a cap to protect the brush while not in use and to extend the handle for use at the back of the mouth. Available from dental practices and chemists including Superdrug, Boots, Lloyds, Alliance Pharmacy, and supermarkets including Asda, Sainsburys, Tesco and Waitrose. For your local stockist, please call 0845 226 0660 or visit www.molarltd.co.uk.
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Further information/samples/photography from:
Wendy Campling/Nicola Boniface/Lisa Ventham
Sparkle Press Office
Tel. 020 8686 8441 / 3141/4885
Notes to editors:
1 Khader YS et al J Periodontology 2004 75 1046-1053
Molar UK Ltd, has been specializing in technically advanced oral care and hygiene products for over 10 years. Other leading brands from Molar include PlaqueOff, PlaqueOff Animal and TongueDetox.
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