Are you brushing regularly but not seeing the results you want? Flossing may be the answer. Even diligent patients often disregard flossing as unimportant. In fact, flossing is vital to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. So how does it work?
The Benefits of Flossing
- Dislodges food particles stuck between the teeth
- Removes decay-causing bacteria from between teeth
- Cleans gums to prevent deep pockets and gum disease
- “Tightens” the gums to reduce inflammation, swelling, and bleeding
Choosing a Floss
Many patients just use the floss they get from the dentist and don’t think much about its characteristics. But did you know that there are actually different kinds of floss? Sure there are different flavors and waxed versus unwaxed, but when it comes to choosing a floss, the thickness is most important. Tailor your choice to your own teeth. A thin floss is best suited for tightly set teeth. A thick floss is best for widely set teeth. People with gaps between their teeth may benefit from dental tape, a special extra-wide kind of floss that removes more plaque.
The technique is where most people go wrong with flossing. Many patients complain that flossing is painful. These patients may be making one of the most common flossing mistakes: sawing the floss back and forth against your gums. This technique is not only painful and causes bleeding; it also does very little to clean your teeth. Instead, run the floss up and down the sides of each tooth, being gentle on your gums. Don’t forget to floss between your molars, too.
Schedule an Appointment
Have you been flossing incorrectly your entire life? Dr. Brent Engelberg at AH Smiles will be happy to help. Our goal is to help you create a healthy, stable smile for the long term, and patient education is a part of this. Just ask us about proper flossing or choosing the best floss for you at your next cleaning and checkup. To schedule an appointment, contact our Arlington Heights, IL office on our website or at (847) 230-9703.