If you’re like most people, then your dentist is always trying to get you to floss more, and for good reason. Flossing, along with brushing, is the first line of defense against a host of oral health issues, from cavities to periodontal disease. Unfortunately, most people fall short of the expectations their dentists have for regular flossing. One in ten say they never floss, and only about half say they floss every day. Why? Most people simply don’t like to floss. They find it annoying, and tend to skip it a lot—or all the time. The lack of regular flossing is crucial to
proper dental care and can help prevent serious problems down the road.
The Many Types of Floss
If you’re ready to commit to flossing, your first step is to find a floss that works for you. You’d think floss would be a simple matter, but the truth is that there are many different types of floss. In fact, the options can be overwhelming. If you’re wondering what kind of floss is best for your needs, here are some pros and cons of the most common kinds of flossing tools.
- Unwaxed Dental Floss – The classic dental floss is made up of tiny, unwaxed strands. Unwaxed floss is small and can be used between closely-spaced teeth, but it can break or fray. Some people find the width of this type of floss to be more uncomfortable on the gums. When using unwaxed floss, it’s possible to hear a “squeak” when an area is free of plaque, a helpful indication.
- Waxed Dental Floss – Waxed dental floss is as thin as traditional dental floss but it’s coated in wax. This helps to prevent breakage and can help the floss slide more easily between the teeth. However, the wax may make it harder to use on closely spaced teeth.
- Floss Picks – A good option for young children or people with limited mobility, floss picks simplify the process by making flossing angles less awkward. Floss picks are simply made up of a plastic, two-pronged handle with a thread of floss between the prongs. This allows for one-handed flossing, which is easier for many people.
- Irrigator – An irrigator can be an important tool for oral health, but it doesn’t replace floss. Water irrigators can remove food particles around dental work, but it cannot remove the plaque that causes decay and gum disease.
- Electric Flosser – Electric flossers have been shown to be just as safe and effective as dental floss, and some people prefer this option for its ease and convenience. Others use electric flossers when they are at home but use regular dental floss when they are out of town.
Which Option is the Best?
When you get right down to it, it’s difficult to say what type of floss is the best because each option has pros and cons. The best floss is an individual judgment, and you’ll probably need to try a few options to find what works best for you. You can use the descriptions above as a starting point, however, variations in type and brand might influence how you feel about flossing so it’s important to find something that works for you. Finding the right floss is worth the effort—your important nightly ritual won’t seem so bad after all, and your dentist will no longer have to remind you to break out the floss for the sake of your teeth and gums.
Use the Right Technique
Choosing the right floss is the first step, but it’s not enough to ensure you’re removing the plaque from between your teeth. You also need to ensure that you’re using the right technique. Don’t just bring the floss up and down in one cursory movement, clean both sides of each tooth in a C shape. This will ensure that all reachable plaque is removed from the gum line. Your dentist can give you further instruction on flossing technique if you need it.
Is your flossing up to snuff? The only way to find out is to get regular dental checkups and cleanings. Our dental experts can help ensure you’re setting yourself up for a healthy mouth, and offer a wide range of services at our Miami, FL offices. To schedule an appointment with Drs. Gallardo and Lamas, call 305-547-8687 today!