Modern advancements in dental technology, techniques and materials are amazing. Yet, to avoid cavities and gum disease, there is still nothing better than a tooth brush, tooth paste and dental floss — AND a diligent user!
Brushing and flossing has progressed somewhat over the years. Toothpaste now has a fluoride additive. Some have whitening agents. Toothbrushes offer better shaped to reach tight angles. Electric toothbrushes can also make brushing more effective.
But flossing? That is the missing link that is often overlooked in the daily oral hygiene routine of American adults. Yet, it’s so necessary! While brushing removes oral bacteria that accumulates in the mouth, flossing removes the particles that create it in the first place!
While we encourage our patients to floss, we know lecturing is not helpful. And, whatever the excuse is, we’ve probably heard it over and over. Some of those we hear most often include:
“My hands are too big.”
Consider using floss holders. These are especially helpful for people with dexterity problems, such as arthritis sufferers.
“My gums bleed.”
Gums that are red, swollen, or bleed easily indicate gingivitis, the initial form of gum disease. This should be treated immediately. Gum disease can damage your oral health and create inflammatory reactions elsewhere in the body.
“I have my teeth cleaned twice a year, so I don’t need to floss.”
In less than two days, plaque on teeth can harden into calculus. To remove calculus, a professional cleaning is required. The easiest way to prevent calculus is through daily flossing. Once in the habit, flossing takes very little time and energy.
“My teeth are too tight for the floss.”
Waxed or polymer floss is recommended for people with tight spaces between teeth.
“Flossing takes too long.”
Once you have the hang of daily flossing and are comfortable with the technique, the time required is less than two minutes. This brief amount of time can save you greatly in time and money by helping you avoid dental problems.
“I may damage my gums when flossing.”
Technique is important and our hygienists are happy to help you with proper motions to avoid popping the floss between teeth onto tender gum tissues.
Begin your commitment by watching a brief video on our web site that walks you through simple steps for thorough flossing: https://www.banrbarbatdds.com/dental_care.php
Think of brushing without flossing as taking a shower without soap. Yes, you’ll get cleaner than not taking a shower at all, but your time in the spray will be far more effective with a good sudsing up!