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The Importance of Cleaning The Gaps Between Your Teeth

The Importance of Cleaning The Gaps Between Your Teeth

Have you ever spotted any sticky brown or palish yellow deposits between your teeth after eating? In medical terms, those are what dentists refer to as dental plaque, and they tend to form on your teeth due to food residue and bacteria. If you forget to brush and floss your teeth regularly, tartar or dental calculus will start to build up1. Read on to find out about the importance of interdental cleaning while also discovering dental hygiene and teeth cleaning tips to get rid of bacteria!

What is interdental cleaning?

Good oral hygiene always start with brushing your teeth correctly, and this involves choosing a toothbrush with the right bristle type (such as slim bristles for better interdental cleaning). But it doesn’t stop with just brushing because flossing is equally important. According to The American Dental Association (ADA), flossing and brushing must always go hand in hand as a toothbrush alone cannot reach all areas, especially the tiny gaps between the teeth1.

Wondering how to floss your teeth for better dental hygiene? Follow these simple steps:

1. Take around 45cm of floss and wind it around your middle or index finger. Wind the rest of the floss around a finger on your other hand.

2. Then, gently slide the floss between your teeth. When the floss reaches your gum line, curve it into a C-shape against one tooth.

3. Gently move the floss up and down2. Repeat the steps as you move from tooth to tooth. You may find it difficult at first, but, remember, practice makes perfect!

The American Dental Association (ADA) also recommends brushing twice a day along with flossing once a day3. Recent studies in 2021 showed that flossing before brushing was equally as effective as flossing afterward for reducing dental plaque and an improved dental hygiene4. So — no matter the order — just make sure you follow a thorough routine.

Here’s a tip on brushing: You can never go wrong with a soft bristle toothbrush. And aim to brush for about 2-3 minutes with gentle force. Darlie’s Slim Tip Bristles series features 0.01mm slim tip bristles that clean interdental gaps effectively.

Looking to try them out? Do consider the Volcanic Charcoal or Wide Clean Charcoal toothbrushes!

What are the effects of poor interdental cleaning?

With poor interdental cleaning comes the formation of plaque bacteria, which is one of the most common causes of gum problems. The bacteria utilise the sugars in food to release acids that can irritate your gums and dissolve tooth enamel (the surface of your teeth), eventually resulting in various tooth problems.

A regular toothbrush might not thoroughly clean the interdental areas, so removing the food particles between your teeth with a dental floss is a must.

If you skip flossing, the plaque that is not removed can harden into tartar or dental calculus: a hard mineral deposit that sticks on teeth surfaces and can only be removed by a dentist. It can lead to many gum problems or even tooth loss1. Maintaining good oral health care does not only ensure that your teeth and gums stay in the best condition possible: it also improves your self-esteem and overall well-being. Remember, a healthy mouth is a happy mouth!

How to choose the right toothbrush?

The rule of thumb is to look for toothbrushes with soft bristles. However, when we specifically dive into bristle types, here’s what you need to know.

Slim tip bristles are crafted for easy penetration between the teeth and gums, while also being gentle to your delicate gums.

Meanwhile, spiral bristles were designed to enhance friction and elevate cleansing power.

There’s also charcoal bristles that are made with 99% Anti-Bacterial Bristles to protect against the growth of bacteria*.

In case you were wondering, manual and powered toothbrushes are equally effective in removing plaque5. People with lower dexterity— such as the elderly, the disabled, children, or those who wear braces — may find it easier to use a powered toothbrush, as they are automated.

*Based on test results on Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, proven to effectively reduce bacteria growth on bristles by 99%

How to choose the right toothpaste?

The rule of thumb is to use a fluoridated toothpaste, as fluoride goes a long way in preventing the accumulation of tartar while removing the build-up of bacteria3. If we dive into the specifics, there are actually toothpastes that target specific dental concerns.

Gum and teeth care toothpastes focus on preventing gum problems from the get-go, which then leads to sensitivity protection. They do so by protecting and strengthening the gums while removing interdental plaque.

Fresh breath toothpastes are bringers of confidence, equipping you with what you need to have a great day.

Teeth whitening toothpastes specialise in whitening your smile. They are also the recommended maintenance protocol for those who have just undergone teeth whitening procedures.

Prevention is always better than cure, so practice proper interdental cleaning while you can! As a start, begin adopting the routine of flossing and brushing your teeth together. Most importantly, choose a toothbrush and toothpaste that specialises in protecting your oral health


  1. Lindberg, S. (2021, February 17). Benefits of flossing your teeth: 5 reasons to Floss regularly. Healthline. Retrieved April 30, 2022, from
  2. Johnson, J. (2013). Ada Patient smart | flossing - Flossing. Retrieved April 30, 2022, from
  3. Department of Scientific Information, Evidence Synthesis & Translation Research, ADA Science & Research Institute, LLC. (2019). Toothbrushes. American Dental Association. Retrieved April 30, 2022, from
  4. Department of Scientific Information, Evidence Synthesis & Translation Research, ADA Science & Research Institute, LLC. (2021). Floss/ Interdental Cleaners. American Dental Association. Retrieved April 30, 2022, from
  5. NHS. (2022, February 15). How to Keep Your Teeth Clean. NHS choices. Retrieved April 30, 2022, from
  6. Hayasaki, H., Saitoh, I., Nakakura-Ohshima, K., Hanasaki, M., Nogami, Y., Nakajima, T., Inada, E., Iwasaki, T., Iwase, Y., Sawami, T., Kawasaki, K., Murakami, N., Murakami, T., Kurosawa, M., Kimi, M., Kagoshima, A., Soda, M., & Yamasaki, Y. (2014, May 24). Tooth brushing for oral prophylaxis. Japanese Dental Science Review. Retrieved April 30, 2022, from
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The Importance of Cleaning The Gaps Between Your Teeth