What You Need to Know About Cleaning Between Teeth


Cleaning between your teeth is an essential part of a good dental care plan. When plaque accumulates between teeth, it can harden into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional. When tartar builds up between teeth, gum tissues swell and start to bleed. The condition is commonly known as gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Toothbrushes can’t effectively clean between teeth, so flossing or using interdental cleaners is necessary. Dental floss or tape removes food debris and plaque between teeth and reduces your risk of gum disease and tooth loss.

What is Floss Made From? 

Today’s dental floss is usually made from plastic monofilaments or nylon filaments. It may contain flavoring agents to make cleaning between teeth more enjoyable. Some floss is coated with wax so that it is easier to slide between teeth. Both waxed and unwaxed floss are effective.

What are Interdental Cleaners? 

An interdental cleaner is a wood or plastic device that cleans between teeth. Many such products include tiny brushes attached to their ends. To ensure the best performance and quality, look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance on the packaging of both dental floss and interdental cleaners.

Should You Brush or Floss First?

As long as you do a thorough job of both, either is acceptable. Unfortunately, some people think their teeth are clean after brushing, so they skip flossing altogether. Plaque is still hiding between teeth, even if your mouth feels fresh from brushing.

Is Floss Reusable? 

Used floss, even if rinsed, may deposit bacteria between teeth. Floss and disposable interdental cleaners should be discarded after use.

When Should You Floss? 

Many people prefer to clean between their teeth in the evening before they go to bed; this ensures that the mouth remains clean while sleeping.

To learn about our family dentistry practice in Peoria, call Maple Shade Dental Group today at (855) 979-3356 or make an appointment.

Maple Shade Dental Group offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Peoria. With 3 affiliated practices throughout Illinois, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Maple Shade Dental Group, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Maple Shade Dental Group.

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The office staff has been awesome from the beginning. I was worried about making the payments being a person on a tight budget with school loans and am appreciating the fact that they will work with […]
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Just was able to get quickly, I keep a busy schedule going back and forth to my job in Springfield. Keep up the good work.
Mike C.
Dental hygienist was personable and professional. Clean office great clerical staff
Catherine P.
My family loves Maple Shade Dental! Dr Shanahan is an Amazing dentist!!
Trista A.
They always make me feel welcome. They make the visit personal to my needs as well as talking to me about my life outside of the dentist chair. I always look forward to my visits I really love it […]
James C.
I was able to get in to see them quickly and the staff was very friendly and accommodating.
Valerie P.
We always have a great experience at Maple Shade. My kids love going to the dentist!
Caitlyn C.
A very good experience. The care given was top notch by the professional and friendly staff at Illini drive. Yes, I would recommend them!
Norman W.
Beautiful office! Very friendly staff who were knowledgeable and answered all of our questions. My daughter was able to get her braces on during our first appointment, and financing was so easy! Dr. […]
Sarah J.
The staff is very friendly, patient , and I wouldn’t change my dentist for anything! I look forward to getting my teeth cleaned !
Wonderful time with the entire experience from cleaning to check up!
Brittany T.
I’ve always had very good and prompt service
James B.
Dr. Ruffner was recommended to me by my son. As a new patient, the office was able to give me an appointment within a month’s time, and sent two reminders via phone and through text in order that I […]
Frederica K.
Dr. Ruffner is amazing! It was our son’s first cavity and Dr. Ruffner was patient and explained everything to our son as he went. Great experience from an outstanding doctor.
Mason S.
I came because my husband goes to Maple Shade and everyone is always pleasant and professional.
Tifani E.
Service prices are reasonable, personnel is accommodating and I am satisfied thus far with the work I’ve had done.
Tafi B.
The staff is very friendly and explain things before they do them – physically & financially. They also never keep you waiting long before you are seen!
Rick G.
Friendly and no pain
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Great patient care from the time I stepped off the elevator to the time I left
Judy H.
Solid place with great customer service. Fun staff and great Doctors.
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