Preventing gum disease and dental caries takes daily effort, because every time you eat or drink something, your mouth is filled with oral debris. Oral debris in the form of food particles mixing with accumulated bacteria and sticky plaque collects on the teeth and around the gum line. While brushing your teeth cleans the top and sides of teeth, it cannot reach in between teeth.
Flossing reaches those areas between your teeth where bacteria thrive. Flossing makes you less prone to gingivitis arising from hardened plaque in addition to dental caries. Left untreated, plaque will irritate gum tissue over time, causing gum sensitivity. Once plaque turns into tartar (a hardened mineral deposit), it will need to be removed by a professional dental cleaning. Securing the right dental floss is really just a matter of choice, and it will only be effective if you take the time to use it diligently.
Floss Picks: Floss picks are easy for people who have limited manual dexterity when it comes to holding floss properly—children, people with disability and older people with arthritis. Floss picks are also good for reaching into the back areas of the mouth where the molars live.
Oral Irrigators: Oral irrigators use a pulsating stream of water to remove plaque along with food particle debris, allowing them to effectively combat gingivitis. Aiming the water stream at the gum line gently flushes particles, making it twice as effective as dental floss at reducing bleeding gums.
Unwaxed vs. Waxed Floss: Unwaxed floss absorbs food particles better than waxed floss. It also doesn’t catch on the rough edges of chipped teeth, making it less likely to fray. Unwaxed floss is thinner than waxed threads, so it is adept at maneuvering between crowded teeth.
Waxed floss has a Teflon coating which allows it to slide easily between teeth. This makes it useful for cleaning tightly spaced teeth. Waxed floss can be found in mint or cinnamon flavors to make your breath feel fresh, although some do not like that the coating is a chemical coating.
Whichever flossing method you use doesn’t matter, as much as finding something you will use every day. If you have any questions about flossing or would like to see Dr. David Browne, please give our team a call at 815-344-6811 today!