All too often, flossing is one part of dental care that falls to the wayside. Whether due to discomfort or inconvenience, people are remarkably reluctant to floss. Done correctly, flossing is a comfortable and vital part of any dental health regimen. But what makes it so important?
What Does Flossing Do?
The fact of the matter is that a toothbrush can’t reach every part of your mouth. In particular, a brush can’t clean effectively between the teeth. Floss is the only option for effectively removing food particles and bacteria from between the teeth. Regular flossing reduces your chance of developing gum disease, particularly deep pockets. It also prevents tooth decay – did you know that the sides of your teeth can be a major source of decay?
Choosing the Floss for You
You may be surprised to learn that there are different kinds of floss and that what kind you use really does matter. When choosing a floss, the major factor to consider is thickness. Are your teeth set tightly against each other? A thin floss will be effective and comfortable. If, on the other hand, your teeth, are more widely spaced, a thick floss will be better for removing plaque. If you have gaps between your teeth, dental tape, a special extra-wide type of floss, will remove more plaque.
Alternatives to Floss
Some people find flossing difficult because of reasons such as mobility issues. If you find floss hard to grip, disposable flossers might be easier, and just as effective. If these don’t work for you, try a water flosser. While generally considered to be less effective than floss, a water flosser can still be a valuable tool for cleaning between the teeth.
How to Floss
When patients complain about uncomfortable flossing, it is most often because they are not doing it correctly. Don’t saw against the gums with the floss. This can cause pain and bleeding, and also isn’t effective in cleaning the teeth. Instead, run the floss up and down the sides of each tooth. Make sure to floss your molars, too!
Schedule an Appointment
Many patients may have questions about whether they really are doing the best job for their teeth. At Craft Smiles in Fullerton, CA Drs. Kush and Krutav Patel want to set you up for life with a beautiful, healthy smile. We are always happy to answer your questions about getting the most out of your home hygiene routine. Just ask us about proper flossing at your next visit. To schedule an appointment, contact us on our website or at (714) 888-7008.