Raise your hand if you love to floss. No one? We thought so.
Flossing isn’t exactly the most popular part of dental care. As a matter of fact, we’d probably assume it’s right near the bottom along with root canals – people really hate to floss. Like it or not, flossing is a fundamental part of a healthy smile and there’s no amount of avoiding it that you can do to make it less important!
At Edgewood Dental Care we see a lot of patients who complain about the need to floss daily and we tell them all the same thing: if you hate it so much you’re probably doing it wrong! Flossing doesn’t need to take a lot of time or be difficult – hopefully we can help you understand that today.
Why Is Flossing So Important?
To understand the need for floss you have to understand how gum disease and tooth decay develop. Both are caused by oral bacteria, which tries to find the smallest, hardest-to-reach spots in your mouth to hide and cause problems. Anywhere your toothbrush can’t go is a great place for them to hide, and your brush definitely can’t get between your teeth!
Flossing eliminates that hiding spot for bacteria and keeps your teeth and gums safe. Without regular flossing your chances of tooth decay or gum disease skyrocket – and all you have to do to keep the risk down is to commit a few minutes in the evening to flossing.
Making The Most Of Flossing
If you’re a regular flosser you probably know how to do it – or at least you think you do. You might be wasting more floss all while getting inferior results!
- Use approximately 18 inches of floss for your whole mouth.
- Wrap both ends around your middle fingers, but put most of the floss on one of your hands and just a bit on the other.
- Use a small length of floss to get between two teeth, and as you move on to the next simply wrap the floss onto the other hand to get a clean piece!
- Use small, gentle sawing motions to get the floss between your teeth. Make sure you get from the top all the way to the gumline!
- Don’t be afraid to get below the gums too – floss is great at picking bacteria out from under your gums and it’s not painful at all.
What Kind Of Floss Should You Use?
It’s odd to think about one kind of floss being preferable to another, but it’s definitely true! There are two commonly used kinds of floss, nylon thread and monofilament, and both have advantages for certain kinds of mouths.
- Nylon thread is the most common kind of floss. It generally comes waxed and is great for people with uncrowded teeth. For some people nylon can fray too easily or be difficult to use, which likely means their teeth are too close together.
- Monofilament floss is made of one continuous piece of a rubber or plastic material. It’s thinner, more tear-resistant, and great for crowded or tight teeth. Monofilament is more expensive, but if your experiences with nylon were bad it’s probably a good idea to try it!
Floss With Water?
If you want to take your oral hygiene to the technological extreme you can buy a water flosser! These electronic devices shoot a thin, pressurized beam of water into your mouth, which you can aim right through your teeth. They’re a bit of an investment but they definitely work and they make your mouth feel incredibly fresh.
You can find water flossers at most drugstores. They range in prices, size, and complexity but all of them provide great, convenient results. For many people a water flosser is what makes a big difference. It’s an investment and it’s a novel product that can make flossing more enjoyable.
Protect Your Smile: It’s The Only One You’ll Get!
Preventive dental care doesn’t have to be tricky, expensive, or uncomfortable – it just needs to include flossing! By just spending a couple extra minutes in the bathroom you could be saving your teeth and gums a lot of discomfort and dental work later on.
If you’re worried about the health of your mouth we’re ready to help – just call Edgewood Dental Care at 859-474-7830 or request an appointment by filling out our online form. We look forward to seeing you soon!