It takes a special kind of person to get excited about flossing. If you’re like most of us, flossing is something that doesn’t cross your mind very much – or even at all. In fact, studies show that over 50 percent of adults fail to floss with any regularity.
We don’t like those numbers at Really Smile Dentistry. While we understand that flossing is hardly enjoyable there are also some numbers that show why it’s so important: over 90 percent of adults get cavities and two thirds end up with gum disease – both which can be prevented through thorough flossing.
What Does Flossing Prevent?
Most every problem you can have in your mouth is due to plaque bacteria. Cavities and gum disease, which they excel at, are the most common and most serious oral health problems you can have. They lead to tons of other conditions that can absolutely ruin your teeth – it’s up to you to stop them!
That’s where flossing comes in. That oral bacteria loves to find safe places to hide, like between your teeth, where your brush can’t reach. Flossing is just as important as brushing because it gets those nooks and crannies that you can’t get otherwise.
Using Floss Properly
It sounds crazy to say flossing has a technique, but it’s absolutely true. If you don’t practice a good, regular method of flossing your results simply won’t be that great. Here’s how we recommend flossing to our patients.
- Start with an 18 inch piece of floss and wrap it around your middle fingers. Leave most of the thread on one hand so that you can wind it after each tooth. By the end of your flossing the thread should mostly be on the opposite hand.
- Only leave a few inches between your hands. This will minimize the amount of floss you need and will give you better control over it. It’s important to maintain a firm, taut line when flossing.
- Use a back and forth motion to move the floss into the space between your teeth. Make sure to get below the gumline and up the sides of both teeth. Your goal is to remove as much plaque as you can!
- Pull the floss out gently, wind it, and move to the next tooth.
Doing that every night will go a long way toward preventing gum disease and tooth decay. Believe us – we can tell who flosses and the results and oral health improvements really show!
Choosing A Flossing Product
The hatred a lot of people have for flossing stems from not using the right product. There are plenty of ways to floss that make it easier, more effective, and less gross.
These come in three varieties: traditional nylon floss, monofilament, and super floss. All three are designed to work best with different kinds of mouths in mind.
Monofilament floss is designed to get between teeth that are tight, crowded, or otherwise very close together. Many monofilament users switched from nylon floss because of constant ripping and tearing.
Traditional floss is great for most people. Those who have minor problems with it can usually find relief from using a waxed variety.
Super floss is meant to be used for wider spaces like gaps, or for getting behind and between braces. It’s a thicker, yarn-like material that really works for those larger spaces.
These come in either disposable or rethreadable varieties and are great for people who don’t want to handle their floss. Simply pop the handle into your mouth, stick the thread between your teeth, and clean! Rethreadable models are great because you can wind the floss or move it after each tooth, while disposables just use one small piece. We recommend rinsing disposables during use.
These state-of-the-art luxuries are designed to shoot a pressurized water jet between your teeth. They work great and are able to completely eliminate the need for traditional flossing! They are expensive, however, so if you get one be sure you’re ready to commit to using it.
Patients who have used these tell us how great they are and how clean they make their mouths feel – give one a try and see what you think!
Don’t Forget To See Us Too!
No cavity prevention routine is complete without regular professional care at our Carmel office. If you want to have a truly clean, safe, and healthy mouth it’s essential we see you every six months – no excuses!
To make an appointment at Really Smile Dentistry call us today at 317-451-4050 or request a time by filling out our online form. We look forward to seeing you soon!