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How to floss properly PDF Print E-mail

 

by: Dr. Butch Hutchison
Did you know that periodontal disease in adults begins with the bacterium that forms between the teeth? Brushing may protect you form the plague that forms on the gum line, but flossing is the only way to reach plaque in between the teeth.

Copyright www.umm.edu There is no substitute for flossing. When you skip flossing you are leaving about 40% of your tooths surface untouched. Without flossing plaque bacteria multiplies and toxins are able to reproduce. Although there are other methods for cleaning in between teeth, none are as effective at cleaning below the gum line like flossing is. How soon can my children start flossing? Most children can floss their own teeth by age eight. Parents should help children floss or floss for them until the child is able to do it for himself. Just as with any other good habit you would like your children to develop, you should start early and teach your children good principles of oral hygiene while they are young. Is one brand of floss better than another brand? As you walk down the dental care aisle you may notice all of the different types of flosses available. There are flosses that are waxed, un-waxed, flat, round string, ribbon, textured, spongy, flavored, fluoridated, etc. Studies have shown that there are no significant differences between flosses and that the differences exist mainly so that the one doing the flosser has options for which floss they find most easy and comfortable to use. Those with wider gaps in their teeth should probably be using floss that is textured or woven, while those with small spaces in between their teeth may find a flat or waxed floss to be more comfortable. Others, including children, prefer using different types of disposable floss holders or flossing aids. These holders simply make it easier for little hands to hold and maneuver the floss in between all the teeth. Is there an optimal time to floss? The best time to floss is right before bed. It is important to have a clean mouth before you go to sleep because during the night while you are sleeping the levels of bacteria in your mouth increase. If you are in good dental health, its not as important when you floss as it is important that you floss at least once every 24 hours. Whats the proper flossing technique? As you floss try not to focus on cleaning your gums, but rather the sides of your teeth. When you insert the floss, you should keep it as close to the tooth as possible. Use a back and forth motion and slowly slide the floss form the bottom of the tooth to the top of the tooth. If you feel any resistance, carefully slide the floss out from in-between your teeth. The key is to be patient and practice. If you are too anxious to floss quickly you may rub or cut the gums which can cause pain, sores, and even create an opportunity for infection. Dentists say that it takes about two weeks to really get the hang of flossing. Everyones mouth is different and so are their challenges. If you feel uncomfortable flossing or feel like you cannot reach certain areas of your mouth talk to your dentist or dental hygienist about your troubles. They may be able to provide you with tools and council that can make your job easier.

About the Author
Dr. Butch Hutchison, DDS, is a popular Fort Worth, Texas dentist specializing in Smile Makeovers, Dental Implants and Fort Worth Sedation Dentistry. Visit the Fort Worth Dental Center or call (817) 361-5620 for more information on how Dr. Hutchison can help to restore your brilliant smile.

 
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