February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. The National Children’s Dental Health Month is a…
A quick walk through the drug store and you will find that there are many different types of flossing tools. From regular floss to specially formulated floss and a whole multitude of picks and tools – how do you know what is right for you?
The Technique Matters
First and foremost, it is important to understand that your flossing technique matters the most. Even the fanciest flossing tool is not going to work magic and eliminate the plaque in your mouth upon the first touch. You have to know how to floss. All this means is moving the floss backwards, forwards, and up and down in between each tooth. This is essential – you have to go between each tooth and spend a few seconds there. You have to make sure you are getting into the entire crevice and that the plaque is removed. A simple swipe back and forth is not enough – sometimes you have to pay careful attention to certain ridges or crevices in the tooth that might be harboring bacteria.
Choose What You Are Comfortable Using
Once you know the technique, which we can show you in the office, the tool that you choose is up to you. Flavored, unflavored, waxed, unwaxed floss, and the different types of tools all do the same thing – they floss your teeth. What matters is what you are most comfortable using. Do you have dexterity issues that make flossing difficult? Then you should opt for a tool that has a long enough handle that makes it easy for you to get in between each tooth. If you don’t have dexterity issues, then go for what feels comfortable in your mouth. Some patients prefer waxed floss because it glides easy, while others prefer unwaxed. Some patients prefer to use threaders to get the floss through tighter teeth or in between an oral appliance, while others do not want to bother and would rather use their own hands.
The key here is that you are flossing every day. That is what is important. The fanciest tool sitting in your medicine cabinet is not going to do the trick. So if just floss is what you want to use, then that is just fine – just make sure you are using it at least once a day (typically at night after you have a day’s worth of plaque and bacteria accumulated). If you are having trouble remembering to floss, change the time of day that you do it to make sure that it gets done.