FLOSSES

Plaque is a sticky layer of material containing germs that accumulates on teeth, including places where toothbrushes can’t reach. This can lead to gum disease. The best way to get rid of plaque is to brush and floss your teeth carefully every day. The toothbrush cleans the tops and sides of your teeth. Dental floss cleans in between them and is the best choice.

SHOULD I FLOSS?

Yes. Floss removes plaque and debris that adhere to teeth and gums in between teeth, polishes tooth surfaces, and controls bad breath. Floss is the single most important weapon against plaque, perhaps more important than the toothbrush. Many people just don’t spend enough time flossing or brushing and many have never been taught to floss or brush properly. When you visit your dentist, ask to be shown.

WHICH TYPE OF FLOSS SHOULD I USE?

Dental floss comes in many forms: waxed and unwaxed, flavored and unflavored, wide and regular. Wide floss, or dental tape, may be helpful for people with a lot of bridgework. Tapes are usually recommended when the spaces between teeth are wide. They all clean and remove plaque about the same. Waxed floss might be easier to slide between tight teeth or tight restorations. However, the unwaxed floss makes a squeaking sound to let you know your teeth are clean. Bonded unwaxed floss does not fray as easily as regular unwaxed floss, but does tear more than waxed floss.

HOW SHOULD I FLOSS

At least once a day. To give your teeth a good flossing, spend at least two or three minutes.

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Using 18 inches of dental floss, wrap it lightly around your middle fingers. Firmly grasp the dental floss with your index fingers. Forming a C-shape, carefully slide the floss up and down between your tooth and gum line. Gently slide the floss in between both sides of your teeth and repeat until finished.

WHAT ARE FLOSS HOLDERS?

You may prefer a prethreaded flosser or floss holder, which often looks like a little hacksaw. Flossers are handy for people with limited dexterity, for those who are just beginning to floss, or for carers who are flossing someone else’s teeth.