All You Need to Know About Floss

Do you ever feel overwhelmed as you walk down the oral hygiene isle at the store and stare at the many choices in toothbrushes, toothpastes, mouthwashes, and floss? If so, that is completely normal. It seems as though each week there seems to be a new option on the shelf. Most of the options are pretty clear when it comes to toothbrushes and pastes, but your floss options are a whole other story.

Flossing is extremely important to your oral health, and it is vital if you wish to have a strong and healthy smile. Floss is designed specifically to clean the tight spaces between the teeth and the gap between the base of the teeth and the gums. These are places that a toothbrush can’t reach. WebMD reports only 49% of Americans floss daily and 10% say they never floss. The CDC estimates that 47.2 percent, or 64.7 million American adults, have mild, moderate or severe periodontitis, the more advanced form of periodontal disease (gum disease). In adults 65 and older, prevalence rates increase to 70.1 percent. The main preventative measure to stop periodontal disease – brushing and FLOSSING daily!

Now, which kind of floss is best for your smile? Well, there is waxed floss, fluoride floss, flat floss, and flavored floss, and there are even disposable and reusable dental flossers available if you prefer those handy tools. Much of the decision comes down to your personal preference. Some of us have tight teeth so the standard floss can shred – the waxed or flat floss can be beneficial for this situation. Do be careful to floss around each tooth as the flat floss may not “grab” as much as a regular or twisted floss. Most flossers are flat or waxed so you must take extra care to ensure your flossing around each tooth. This can be tricky with a flosser and super fine floss can injure your gums. Kids and those with periodontal disease may want to consider using floss with fluoride since it can help make teeth more resistant to decay. Those with crowns or a retainer bar may require a threader to get the floss between the teeth. Then there are new styles of picks and gum stimulators. The choices are endless.

The most important thing you need to remember is to floss and brush your smile every day. If you are in a hurry, use an efficient and effective flosser. If you have some extra time, try flossing with the twisted style floss to deeply clean around the gums.

If you have any questions about flossing or if you would like to know more, please call our office today and schedule an appointment. Our dentist loves to talk about flossing!