You have probably heard many times throughout your life that flossing is very important, but how often do you actually do it? Many patients find that brushing their teeth twice per day is time-consuming enough, so flossing tends to take a back seat. According to the American Dental Association, 20 to 30% of Americans report rarely flossing, with some patients in this group admitting to never flossing.
Why Should I Floss?
Brushing your teeth is essential for keeping your teeth and gums healthy and clean. However, flossing reaches spots in between the teeth that a regular toothbrush cannot, no matter how hard you try. Clearing away bacteria and food particles that build up in between the teeth will help prevent cavities and gingivitis. These preventable issues can result in pain, bad breath, bleeding, sensitivity, decay and cavities, tooth loss, and bone loss.
Tools to Make Flossing Easier
Do you frequently avoid flossing for one reason or another? Make your oral care routine more thorough and effective by using a tool that may make it easier to establish a daily flossing habit: a water floss, floss pick, or interdental brush.
- Water Flosser
- Floss Pick
- Interdental Brush
A water flosser, like a Waterpik® water flosser, thoroughly cleans in between each tooth with a powerful stream of water instead of dental floss. This is an excellent option for patients with braces, bridges, or poor dexterity. There is a learning curve of getting the hang of angling the water stream and pausing long enough between each tooth. However, many patients find that water flossers quickly become easier and more enjoyable to use than regular string floss.
Floss picks hold a piece of dental floss taut, allowing you to easily floss with one hand. There are disposable floss picks and reusable ones. One pro of a floss pick is that you don’t have to measure out the floss or wrap it around your fingers, but it’s also easier to transfer bacteria and food particles from one area to another unless you use a clean floss pick between each set of teeth.
An interdental brush is essentially a tiny toothbrush with very thin bristles that can be used to clean in between each tooth. If you have braces, these brushes are especially great for cleaning behind the wires and in between the teeth.
Gentle Preventive Dental Care in Baton Rouge, LA
Jones Creek Family Dentistry is here to help you perfect your oral hygiene routine. Flossing is much easier if you know the proper technique. Our dental team can show you some tips when you come in for your regular checkup and cleaning. Dr. Jones provides comprehensive dental care for patients of all ages, including kids. Contact us today to schedule appointments for your entire family!
Floss pick image from McKinsey on Rawpixel