Tips for Cleaning Teeth That Are Close Together

If you have teeth that are jammed close together, cleaning and flossing can be a real chore, especially a few years ago. The choices available in flossing products were few and far between, and most of them just didn’t work for those with a mouth full of teeth. Today – thankfully – there are so many different types of floss, and small tools available that you are spoilt for choice. While this is a good thing it can be hard choosing the products that work and are right for you. Everyone knows they should floss between their teeth once a day, and if you have teeth that overlap or are crammed tightly together flossing is even more important.

Choosing the right floss is the most important step when it comes to caring for a mouth full of closely packed teeth. For many years the choices included a thick waxed string that would never fit between some teeth, or, if you did manage to get it between your teeth it shredded as you were working it back and forth. Just trying to get floss between your teeth was painful – you’d end up cutting into your gums when the floss finally slipped through, due to the force you needed to use.

If you have close together teeth:

  • Avoid those waxed flosses – unless they say they are designed for tight teeth. The normal waxed floss strips are too thick for tight spaces, some of the newer ranges of floss are waxed to prevent shredding, but they are still quite thin. Using an un-waxed floss is a better choice
  • Those ribbon style flosses are good, they are thin, but flat, rather than a thread and they are good at slipping between tight spaces.

A good floss once a day is great for those who don’t have teeth packed closely together, when you have tight fitting teeth you can benefit from flossing twice a day, and brushing up to three times a day. If flossing isn’t working well for you, dental picks are another great way to clean your teeth following every meal – or snack, if you feel the need. Again, there is a wide range of picks available and what works well for one, might not work for you, so shop around, try different brands and formats until you find the one that works for you.

 

Some of the common picks formats are:

  • Brush Type – Some people who have close teeth use some of these smaller *Brush type* picks. They have tiny little bristles on the end, that look a little bit like pipe cleaners. You just push the brush in between your teeth and gently move it in and out. This is a great dental pick for two reasons – it will massage your gums just a little bit, which will stimulate your circulation to keep your gums healthy and it will get rid of that annoying food between your teeth.
  • Plastic Pick – if your teeth are too close together and you can’t use a brush type pick, you can probably use a plain, plastic toothpick with flat bristles. These are little plastic sticks that have a few tiny plastic sticks that poke out at the ends on two sides. This thinner profile means they slide in easily between tight teeth. The little plastic sticks on the end function just like a brush, scraping the food away, and gently massaging your gum. If you have two teeth that are crammed so closely together that you can’t even get between, you can slide this pick in partway, it’s not a lot, but it will do some good.
  • Floss Picks – If you struggle to get a plastic pick between your teeth, you may find a floss pick more convenient. These are small plastic sticks that fork at the ends with a piece of floss strung between the two forks. They don’t replace proper flossing as strings of floss can be wrapped partway around a tooth’s surface to scrape off the clingy bits of food. These picks are great to scrape off annoying clingy bits of food and are used as a *basic clean-up*. They don’t do anything for your gums, but they will help keep down plaque build-up.

Caring for teeth that are close together is very challenging, but it is getting easier. Don’t assume that because you couldn’t floss a few years ago, you still can’t.

For a perfect smile, you have also a professionally applied teeth-whitening option. Give it a go, you’ll be surprised.

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