Like it or not, you need to floss. Those hard-to-reach spots between your teeth are the perfect place for plaque bacteria and food particles to hide, leaving you with serious risks for gum disease and tooth decay. Unlike cavities on the surfaces of your teeth it’s hard to notice those tiny ones between them!
At New Albany Implants we want you to maintain a healthy smile for years to come, and it’s impossible to do that without daily flossing. Whether you’ve been avoiding it for years or are a regular flosser who has wondered with the best products are we want to help!
Flossing: The Why And How
Before we jump into the different kinds of floss let’s talk about the why and how of flossing. We talked a bit about why you should floss above, but it helps to understand the effects of not flossing.
When you avoid daily flossing you might notice that your gums start to bleed easily when you brush, which is a sign of the early stage of gum disease called gingivitis. This happens when bacteria gets below the gumline and starts to cause an infection. At this stage it’s critical to eliminate the infection, which can be done through good oral health techniques – like flossing!
If you don’t reverse the effects of gingivitis you can eventually end up with serious infection, gum recession, and eventual gum loss. In fact, gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss among adults.
The how is pretty easy, especially if you’ve flossed before. There are some details that you might miss, however, so here’s a quick rundown of the best way to floss.
- Use an 18-inch piece of floss. Wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving only a few inches between your fingers to work with.
- Guide the floss up between your teeth in a gentle back-and-forth motion – sort of like those two-man tree cutting saws from the old days.
- Follow the curves of your teeth so that you get all the space in between, and also be sure to get up under your gumline.
- Remove the floss using the same back-and-forth motion. Once you clear your teeth wind the floss along your fingers to expose a clean piece and continue.
Choosing The Right Kind Of Floss
It might sound silly to say “choose the right kind of floss,” but it’s actually really important! Not all mouths are created equal, and choosing a floss that fits snugly but easily between your teeth is important!
There are two kinds of floss that you can buy: nylon threaded and monofilament. Both have certain advantages for different kinds of mouths.
- Nylon threaded floss is the traditional kind that you’ve probably been using for years. It comes in waxed and unwaxed varieties. Waxed floss is great for getting into tight spaces and can make working with nylon floss a lot better. The one big drawback that nylon has is its tendency to shred in smaller spaces, making it far more ideal for patients with teeth that aren’t too tight.
- Monofilament floss is made from a single piece of rubber or plastic. They’re ultra-thin and almost ribbon-like, making them great at getting into tight spaces. They’re also better at providing a “deep clean” beneath the gumline that is harder for nylon floss. If you have teeth that are crowded or tight this is the best choice for you.
It can often be best to use these types of floss together to achieve the best results, especially if you have uneven spaces between your teeth, which most of us do. Monofilament is great for tight spaces but it can be harder to get a complete clean without using a thicker substance, like nylon. If you have large between your teeth you can also get special thick floss that makes getting them clean super easy.
Flossing With Water
If you really want to go to the extreme in your flossing habit there’s always the various water flossing machines. These are available at your drugstore, and while expensive they can be a great investment. They do a great job at not only cleaning between your teeth but also making them feel a lot cleaner, which can go a long way in convincing you that flossing is worth it!
Worried About Your Teeth? Make An Appointment!strong>
Forgetting to floss isn’t the end of your smile, but it can be seriously harmful if you don’t have a professional take a look at your smile. Make an appointment at New Albany Implants today by calling (812) 945-7645 or filling out our online request form. You may just save your smile!