May 31, 2021 - minute readminutes read

How to Clean Between your Teeth for Better Health

Cleaning between your teeth is important for your oral and overall health. Did you know that your teeth have five surfaces which all need cleaning? 


Although a toothbrush can remove plaque from most surfaces, it cannot reach between your teeth where food debris and plaque accumulate. This is why interdental cleaning after toothbrushing is so important – it’s the only way to remove plaque from all tooth surfaces.

Gingivitis affects up to 90% of the world’s population and is caused by plaque build-up. If left to accumulate, plaque can damage your gums and teeth, causing inflammation, bleeding, dentinal sensitivity and decay, and potentially lead to general health issues.

Want to master interdental cleaning and care for your oral and general health? Watch our video to perfect your technique and follow our tips for a healthy mouth, smile and body. We can all benefit from following the basics of oral care, but we also have different needs that require professional care. This is why you should visit your oral health practitioner twice a year for personalised care and a professional clean.

Wondering how best to clean between your teeth? Watch our video:

If you want to balance efficacy and ease, interdental picks and brushes are probably your best bet. If you have tight interdental spaces, consider using floss.

Interdentals are available in multiple sizes. You may need more than one depending on your interdental spaces.

To clean properly, the interdental should slide in with light resistance and fit comfortably, but snuggly, between your teeth. You shouldn’t have to push! Use a gentle back-and-forth motion to clean the entire interdental space.

Don’t forget to clean your back teeth. Some interdentals bend at the neck making it easier to reach back there. Prefer to try an interdental pick? You can follow the same technique.

A FEW THINGS you may be wondering about: 

This depends on your interdental spaces, the sensitivity of your gums and teeth as well as personal preference. Do you have tight teeth, sensitive teeth, or do you wear braces? Find out which interdental cleaner is best for you.

This depends on the tightness of your teeth. If they are very tight use floss or an interdental pick with a very small head. If this isn’t the case, then it is mostly trial and error - look out for sample packs or ask your hygienist. You may need more than one size depending on your interdental spaces. The head should fit comfortably, but snuggly, between your teeth as this will ensure maximum plaque removal. Never force the interdental in, go down a size instead. 

You should clean between your teeth at least once a day, morning or evening. Most people prefer the evening, before going to bed.

The most comprehensive solution would be to use both floss and interdental brushes. But of course, this isn’t possible for everyone. People with very tight interdental spaces might only be able to use floss. Others might prefer the ease of use and effectiveness of brushes and rubber picks. Find out which interdental cleaner is best for you.

If you look after your brushes properly, they can be used for up to one week. Make sure you always let them air dry standing upright to prevent the growth of bacteria. Rubber interdental picks, however, are single use.

There is no need to clean them, just make sure you rinse after use and let them air dry standing upright to prevent the growth of bacteria. Remember, interdental brushes can be used for up to one week while interdental picks are single use.

Light bleeding and/or discomfort can be quite common if you don’t clean between your teeth very often. It doesn’t mean that your mouth is unhealthy, just that you need to remove the plaque that is irritating your gums! Make sure you get into the habit of daily interdental cleaning. If the bleeding and pain don’t subside you should consider making an appointment with your oral health practitioner.

Interdental papilla is the gum between your teeth. It protects the roots of your teeth and prevents food from getting stuck between your teeth. These small sections of gum tissue are the ones that benefit most from interdental cleaning as they are the most susceptible to gingivitis and recession.