How to brush and clean in between your teeth

By mary / 8 October 2016

Why do we have to clean our teeth? What we are doing is cleaning off plaque that is harmful to our gums and teeth. Plaque is mostly bacteria, which hide under the gum. It is dark moist and warm under there. Our job every day is to disturb them from their nice environment, to come out into the saliva. They hate it there . Its too bright so within 24hours they have attached themselves to your tooth surface to crawl back under the gum to hide. Your job next day is to disturb them again. So I have written information on how to brush and clean in between your teeth.

How to brush and clean in between your teeth
Place a pea size amount of toothpaste on your brush, and then dip it into the DHC powder.
Place the toothbrush half on your teeth and half on your gums, so the filaments can access below the gumline. Whether you are using an electric and manual brush, place it, hold it, DO NOT move it.
When using an electric toothbrush (ETB).

The ETB osculates (moves back and forth) at about 8000 brush stroke per minute so it is important not move the brush across the surface of your gums. Let the machine do the job. Place it, hold it, DO NOT move it.
When using a manual toothbrush, gently vibrate the brush back and forth without moving the filaments across the gums, for approximately 20 movements, or roughly 8 seconds. Place it, hold it, DO NOT move it.

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Draw 50-60cm of floss and wind the floss around both middle fingers, with 1-2cm between thumb and index finger of both hands.
Slide the floss between the contacts of the teeth until you reach the gum.
Forming a “C” shape against one tooth, move the “C” shape floss under the gum, to where to bacteria are hiding, then slide the floss ‘up and down’ the tooth surface once. Then move the floss up over the gum, to the adjacent tooth. Repeat above in between each tooth.
Do not forget to floss around the back of the back teeth.

Interdental brushing

Place the tip of your interdental brush in between your teeth and probe it gently into the space without forcing it. You will find some angles work better than others.
Slowly and gently push the brush into the interproximal area between your teeth until the other side is reached. If you feel resistance, that is as far as the interdental brush will go. Once will be enough to dislodge any matter that may have accumulated.

About the author


Mary Mowbray is a registered dental hygienist, innovator and educator in the area of oral health, widely respected among her peers both here and overseas. Mary is also the Chief executive of the Institute of Dental Hygiene (the Institute is set up to ensure the professional development of dental hygiene in New Zealand).