Denver, CO 80209
Sometimes putting forth the effort to brush our teeth before bedtime is hard enough, and flossing is usually out of the question. But over time all those little particles of food build up in between our teeth, causing plaque and cavity formation. Pretty soon those plaques and cavities can lead to big problems in our mouths, like gum infection and even root damage or tooth loss. Hopefully you hear this from your hygienist each time you visit the dentist’s office, but flossing is one of the most important component of your oral health!
Now that we’ve discussed why flossing is critical, here’s the better question: what type of floss should we use? It seems that drug stores and supermarkets alike carry floss that is waxed or unwaxed, minty or unflavored, thick or thin, etc. The good news is that there’s not a huge difference among the different styles of floss–it’s based more so on personal preference. Some feel that wax-covered floss slides more easily in and out of crevices, though this isn’t necessarily true for all. As long as you choose a floss that holds up well and you are using it regularly, you’re taking steps in the right direction. Some really handy devices that you might find are floss picks. These little flossers hold the thread taut and allow for swift, easy motions between the teeth. They’re great tools to keep in a bag or in the car for on-the-go flossing!
Since we’re talking details, here’s a secret: the most important thing about your floss is the way you use it. No matter what type it is, the usage technique should be the focus of this practice. When flossing each day, make sure the floss reaches every crevice both between each set of teeth and along the gumline. Using a zigzag motion between the teeth is highly effective in removing food that might be stuck on the tooth’s enamel. Next time you’re in the office for your cleaning appointment, ask the hygienist if you are flossing correctly. Dr. Carter’s hygienist, Dana, loves to give helpful tips for keeping your teeth in tip-top shape!
At the very least, pick a method for removing the particles from your teeth immediately following a meal. Some choose to use devices like toothpicks, others will rinse with water or mouthwash. These methods are by no means a substitute for flossing, but they are a good place to start. Forming a the two-step habit of brushing and flossing leads to better dental hygiene down the road. Tenderness in your gums with slight bleeding isn’t normal, but they are symptoms that arise the first time you floss after a long period of not doing so. Once flossing becomes integrated into your normal routine, it’ll feel as natural as brushing your teeth.