Category: Author: Taylor
Floss Like A Boss
Dental floss is used to remove food and plaque from between your teeth, and in areas that your toothbrush is unable to reach.
Recently, there’s been a number of conflicting articles being published about flossing. One may say you need to floss, while the other may say don’t bother. We’re here to settle the debate. You need to floss, and you should also make sure you’re doing it the right way.
Brushing doesn’t cut it.
If you don’t floss, you’re missing large parts of your teeth that will cause cavities if they aren’t thoroughly cleaned. The American Dental Association recommends cleaning between your teeth at least once a day. This is important because plaque that’s not removed by brushing and flossing can eventually harden into tartar.
There’s five surfaces on each tooth, including three that a brush can clean (the front, back and top or bottom of the tooth), and two that require flossing to clean (the sides of the tooth, that are adjacent to other teeth).
Dentists recommend flossing as a preventative approach for two reasons. To help prevent tooth decay, and to prevent gingivitis that can stem from an immune system response to the presence of bacteria between your teeth.
Find the kind that’s right for you.
You might be under the impression that there’s only one type of floss. However, there’s actually many different varieties. You can buy waxed, unwaxed, silk, flavored, etc. It’s important to know that there’s no difference in the cleaning power of the different kinds, but the main thing that determines their level of effectiveness is your flossing technique.
If you don’t like traditional floss, you can try a floss pick. Floss picks are popular since the floss is ready to go and convenient since you only need one hand. Unfortunately, floss picks don’t reach the angles that traditional floss can. When flossing, you’re supposed to form a “C” which can’t be done with floss picks. Regular floss is recommended, but floss picks are better than nothing when it comes to caring for your pearly whites.
Finally, if you don’t want to use traditional floss, or a pick, you can try an oral irrigator. An oral irrigator is a flossing tool that uses a stream of water to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth. It’s an effective alternative to traditional flossing.
If a certain type or brand of floss hasn’t worked for you, don’t worry about it– there’s one out there that will. Everyone’s teeth are different shapes, sizes and textures, so a floss that works for your friend may not work for you.
Flossing…the right way.
It may seem simple, but it’s possible you aren’t flossing correctly. To floss the right way, you need to follow these simple steps:
-Gather about 18 inches of floss and wind it around your two pointer fingers, leaving a couple of inches to floss with.
-Slide the floss gently up and down between your teeth.
-Curve the floss in a “C” shape around each tooth, and be sure to go below your gumline. Don’t force it because that can damage your gums and cause bleeding.
-Use a new section of floss as plaque/food debris builds up.
Watch this short video for a great demonstration.
Make An Appointment
Besides brushing and flossing twice a day, make sure you’re coming in for a cleaning every 6 months! If it’s been longer, make your appointment today.
At the Lafayette Dentist office of John C. Theriot, DDS and Associates, we love caring for your smile. In fact, our staff has earned a reputation for providing a warm, comfortable, and relaxing experience to our guests. Our goal is to provide you the best dental care in Lafayette.