Yes. You can't reach the bacteria in tight spaces between your teeth and under the gum line with a toothbrush. Aim to floss daily. If you find it hard to handle floss, use an interdental cleaner — such as a dental pick, pre-threaded flosser, tiny brushes that reach between teeth, a water flosser, or wooden or silicone wedge plaque remover. As long as you do a thorough job, it doesn't matter if you brush or floss first.
Are you brushing your teeth properly? Here's how to brush: Hold your toothbrush at a slight angle — aiming the bristles toward the area where your tooth meets your gum. Gently brush with circular short back-and-forth motions. Remember to brush the outside, inside and chewing surfaces of your teeth, as well as your tongue. Use a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush that fits your mouth comfortably. Consider using an electric or battery-operated toothbrush. Brush your teeth twice a day.
Flossing can help you remove the bacteria in the tight spaces between your teeth and under the gum line. Break off about 18 inches (46 centimeters) of dental floss. Wind most of the floss around the middle finger on one hand, and the rest around the middle finger on the other hand. Grip the floss between your thumbs and forefingers. Guide the floss between your teeth using a rubbing motion. When the floss reaches your gum line, curve it against one tooth. Use the floss to rub the side of the tooth in an up-and-down motion. Unwind fresh floss for your next tooth.
Have something stuck in your teeth? Use a toothbrush, dental floss, or an interdental cleaner — such as a dental pick, pre-threaded flosser, tiny brushes that reach between teeth, a water flosser, or wooden or silicone wedge plaque remover. Save toothpicks for olives. If you use a toothpick to clean your teeth, you could injure your gums and let in bacteria.
Invest in a new toothbrush or a replacement head for your electric or battery-operated toothbrush every three to four months. Change it sooner if the bristles flay or become irregular.
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Standard dental floss is generally considered the most effective tool for cleaning between the teeth.