The idea of dentists and floss can feel overdone, but it really is that important. Even if you brush well and use mouthwash, it’s not the same. Floss reaches places nothing else can.
The Benefits of Using Floss
- Dislodges food particles stuck between the teeth
- Removes bacteria from the sides of the teeth, preventing deep pockets
- Cleans gums to prevent gum disease
- Stimulates and “tightens” gums to reduce inflammation and swelling
Choosing the Right Floss
Did you know that there are actually different kinds of floss? Not just flavored versus flavorless – floss comes in a variety of thicknesses, and in waxed versus unwaxed options to suit every mouth. But how do you choose? Looking for the ADA seal of approval is always a good first step when shopping for any dental products. From these options, your floss choice is primarily down to thickness.
Are your teeth set very tightly against each other? Thick floss might be uncomfortable, so a thin floss is the best choice. Waxed floss can even provide a little extra slip to make the process easier. For people with more loosely spaced teeth, thick floss will be more effective. People with gaps between their teeth might want to consider dental tape. No, it’s not sticky; dental tape just has a wider surface to remove more plaque from large spaces.
Are You Flossing Right?
It may seem like a silly question, but in fact, many people make mistakes when flossing their teeth. Poor flossing can do more harm than good. Here’s how to properly floss your teeth:
- Pull off a length about the length of your arm – 18 to 24 inches
- Wind the floss around your middle fingers, leaving about an inch or two between them
- Holding the floss tight with your index fingers and thumbs, place it between two teeth
- Move the floss gently up and down each side of each tooth, pulling the floss so that it presses tightly against the tooth
- Make sure not to saw the floss back and forth against your gums, as that can cause bleeding
- Move the floss between your middle fingers as you work so you are always using a fresh piece
Schedule an Appointment
Are you not sure about what floss is best for you, or do you have questions about how to perfect your flossing technique? At Barataria Dental, Drs. Maria Burmaster and Valerie Hemphill aim to set you up for success with a healthy smile to last a lifetime. We are always happy to answer any questions you might have about caring for your teeth between visits. To schedule an appointment, contact our Marrero, LA office on our website or at 504-358-8632.