It took me quite a long time to get used to the idea of pushing these little TePe Interdental Brushes through the spaces in my teeth, but I cottoned on a few years ago and haven’t looked back. Generally, I do it just before I go to bed (okay, sometimes, IN bed) after I’ve brushed my teeth and without wishing to over-share, sometimes during the day. I’ll cite crisps as prime culprits which seem to have a habit of settling into your teeth and never leaving… but ditto for chocolate coated peanuts. I am oversharing now!
I know that you love a stat as much as me, so I have plenty to share with you. Beginning with the news that standard tooth brushing only cleans 60% of surface. I absolutely hate going to the dentist (although I do have literally the world’s most cheerful and kind dentist) so I’m keen to avoid anything that might land me there. The 60% clean rate leaves 40% lying between the teeth which is a bit of a wake-up. Even more of a wake-up is that it’s estimated that around 53% of adults have some form of gum disease in the UK.
Believe it or not, it was my mum that got me on the TePe case – I had seen them in shops but thought you could only use them once and you had to throw them away. I know… I don’t know why I thought that, but I did. Once she told me they last (with rinsing, obviously) for ages, that was it. That was a few years ago and they’ve been in my house ever since, but another mistake I made was not realising you could get different sizes. Not all teeth are equal or the same size so it makes sense when you think about it that gaps won’t be the same size either! You do have to make a bit of a judgement call when it comes to choosing a size, initially, but it’s definitely not a one-size- fits-all situation, so if you’re struggling with interdentals, change the size, or next time you’re at the dentist speak to your dental hygienist and ask them to suggest the right size.
I’m fairly fastidious about my teeth – I still buy a US whitening toothpaste brand that you can’t get in the UK, and I use trays with peroxide gel (proper fitted trays and gel from a proper dentist!) on and off for brightening. So, for me, keeping clean, white teeth are part of my beauty routine. Interdental brushes are easily the most efficient way of getting all the gunk out and keeping your gums in the best possible position to hang onto your teeth – unfortunately, that’s the reality – gum disease leads to tooth loss. I would go to extreme lengths not to lose my teeth, but using interdentals seems a very seamless and low key way to ensure that my gums are as healthy as possible.
I’m pretty sure there is nothing I can tell BBB readers about tooth and gum health that you don’t already know, but I’ve pulled out a few facts given to me by TePe that personally I didn’t know and that you might find useful.
1. Avoid brushing for up to 40 mins after consuming acidic foods and drinks as these ‘soften’ the tooth surface (enamel) and immediate brushing can lead to erosion of the enamel. Forty minutes will give your mouth enough time for the saliva to harden the enamel and protect it.
2. If you are a frequent mouthwash user, you might be surprised to find that some mouthwashes can cause staining that only a dental care professional can remove so always read the advice on the label! Mouthwashes that contain Chlorhexidine and certain essential oils can leave staining on the tooth surface – there is usually a warning on the label.
3. Chewing sugar free gum after meals is a great way to freshen the mouth and encourage saliva flow to protect the enamel – saliva is Mother Nature’s tooth repair solution! It’s funny how the little things like these don’t feel like part of a beauty routine, but they really are. If you’re buying a beautiful lipstick, you’ll want to be sure it’s wrapped on a beautiful smile! TePe is HERE.
*all products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated