Many patients tend to ignore our advice about regular flossing. It may seem almost like a stereotype these days, but flossing really is important. Nothing beats floss for preventing tooth decay and gum disease.
What Does Floss Do?
No, a toothbrush doesn’t do the same job as floss. Some people think that thorough brushing means you don’t need to floss. The fact of the matter is, no brush can reach all the places floss does. Floss is great at dislodging food particles that get stuck between the teeth and removing the bacteria that feed on these particles and cause decay. Did you know that a lot of decay actually originates in the sides of the teeth in people who don’t floss? Floss also cleans and stimulates the gums around the roots of the teeth to prevent gum disease and reduces swelling and information.
Make Sure You’re Flossing Right
Flossing seems pretty straightforward, so you may be surprised to learn that people often do it incorrectly. Are you sure you know how to floss? Break off an arm’s length and wrap it around your middle fingers – more on one finger than the other – leaving an inch or two between your fingers. Holding this length taught with your thumbs and index fingers, move the floss up and down the sides of each tooth. Don’t saw against your gums or the delicate tissue can bleed. As you work, wind the floss between your fingers so you keep using a fresh length.
Choose the Right Floss
Choose a floss based on the amount of space between your teeth. Is it a lot? Use a thick floss, or dental tape if you have large gaps between your teeth. Are your teeth very tight? A thin floss is likely to be more comfortable for you to use, and you may even prefer a waxed floss. It’s never a bad idea to experiment and see what works best for you.
Schedule an Appointment
Dr. Ed Lazer’s goal is to help you build a beautiful, sustainable smile. If you have any questions or concerns about your home healthcare regimen, we are happy to help. Just ask us at your next routine checkup. To schedule an appointment at Cosmetic & Advanced Dentistry in Owings Mills, MD, contact us on our website or at (410) 697-6290.