If floss alone isn't cutting it, you might want to consider interdental cleaners.
These brushlike wands squeeze in between teeth and other tight spaces. For people with braces, these tools help clean out debris often caught in between teeth and metal. Some are disposable, which limits their reuse, while others are attachments to a permanent tool with fast, vibrating motors.
A different type of interdental cleaner, called an oral irrigator, works like flossing and shoots bursts of water between teeth to dislodge bacteria buildup and food particles. Though interdental tools prove useful, they should by no means be a substitute for regular brushing and flossing.
Interested in learning more about great dental tools? Peruse more resources below.
- American Dental Association. "ADA Seal: Frequently Asked Questions." (Aug. 28, 2011) http://www.ada.org/adasealfaq.aspx
- American Dental Association. "Brushing Your Teeth (Cleaning Your Teeth and Gums)." (Aug. 28, 2011) http://www.ada.org/5615.aspx?currentTab=2
- American Dental Association. "Floss & Other Interdental Cleaners." (Aug. 28, 2011) http://www.ada.org/1318.aspx
- American Dental Association. "Guidelines for Earning the Seal." October 2007 (Aug. 28, 2011) http://www.ada.org/participationguidelines.aspx
- Beirne, Paul, Worthington, Helen, & Clarkson, Jan. "Routine Scale and Polish for Periodontal Health in Adults." Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Issue 4. 2007 (Aug. 28, 2011) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD004625.pub3/full
- Jahn, CA. "The Dental Water Jet: A Historical Review of the Literature." Journal of Dental Hygiene. 83, 3. 114-120. 2010 (Aug. 28, 2011) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20579423
- Library of Congress. "Who Invented the Toothbrush and When was It Invented?" Everyday Mysteries. Aug. 23, 2010 (Aug. 28, 2011) http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/tooth.html
- MedlinePlus. "Dental Plaque Identification at Home." U.S. National Library of Medicine. Feb. 22, 2010 (Aug. 28, 2011) http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003426.htm
- Outhouse, TL, Fedorowicz, Z, Keenan, JV, & Al-Alawi, R. "A Cochrane Systematic Review Finds Tongue Scrapers Have Short-Term Efficacy in Controlling Halitosis." General Dentistry. 54, 5. 352-359. 2006 (Aug. 28, 2011) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17004573
- Robinson, Peter, Deacon, Scott, Deery, Chris, Heanue, Mike, Damien Walmsley, A, Worthington, Helen, Glenny, Anne-Marie, & Shaw, Bill. "Manual Versus Powered Toothbrushing for Oral Health." Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. January 2009 (Aug. 28, 2011) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD002281.pub2/abstract
- Vankevich, Paul. "How does Fluoride Strengthen Teeth and Why Add It to the Public Water Supply?" Tufts Now. Feb. 16, 2011 (Aug. 28, 2011) http://now.tufts.edu/articles/fluoride-teeth-public-water-supply
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