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Tooth Picks

Tooth Picks 

Brushing your teeth forms the basis for keeping your mouth healthy. But with only an (electric) toothbrush you cannot correctly clean the space between your teeth.

If you don't remove plaque, it can become very hard and calcify into tartar. New plaque easily sticks to tartar. The gums can become more and more inflamed.

How do you remove dental plaque between your teeth?

You can use various tools to remove the plaque between your teeth, such as toothpicks, dental floss or tuft brushes. Ask your dentist or dental hygienist which instrument is best for you.

Use a toothpick at least once a day if it fits well in the space between the teeth. It is better to use dental floss (see dental floss advice) for very small spaces between your teeth. Is the gap too big for a toothpick? Then use tuft brushes (see advice on tuft brushes)

  1. Moisten. Wooden toothpicks should be made a little bit wet before use. They will not break so easily then.
  2. Between thumb and index finger. Hold the toothpick between thumb and index finger. You use the other fingers to support the chin.
  3. Flat side. Place the flat side of the toothpick against the gums. 
  4. Push. Bring the toothpick between the teeth and push it firmly through.
  5. Forward and back. Move the toothpick forward and back, at least in three positions, namely: three times on the right side, three times straight ahead and three times on the left side.
  6. Close the mouth. It is advised to close the mouth a bit when reaching the back molars, so that the tension on the cheeks is a bit less.

Cleaning between teeth. In the beginning, using a toothpick can be difficult and painful. The gums may bleed because they are inflamed. With daily use, the inflammation disappears and so also the bleeding. Note: Doing oral cleaning too much or not correctly can damage the teeth and gums.