If Floss Isn’t Right For You
We all know how important brushing is to oral health. We can notice the difference visually, and even feel the fuzzy plaque buildup after missing a morning tooth brushing. The effects of not cleaning between your teeth is more subtle. Even though the side effects of not glossing are not as noticeable to patients, to your dentist and dental hygienist there are many tell tale signs.
Allowing plaque and calculus to build up between teeth through not flossing or cleaning between them can wreak havoc on your oral health, even for the most avid brusher. Here are the signs we notice in the office: bleeding gums, cavities, staining and buildup, or bone loss between the teeth. If flossing just isn’t working for you, here are some other options that will still prevent cavities and gum disease:
If You Have Gaps Between Your Teeth:
If floss isn’t right for you because of gaps between your teeth, interproximal brushes or soft-picks are right for you. Soft-picks are flexible picks with small, pliable bristles that grab plaque between teeth. Their flexibility makes them easy to use and effective. A proxabrush uses the same concept, but has a more accessible small handle, and a bit thicker brush. It is better for bigger gaps than soft-picks, but this one takes a little more care to use. The brush bristles are on a wire end that can be damaging to the gums if poked.
If Dexterity Is An Issue:
If you cannot use floss because of how tricky it is to wrap around your fingers and maneuver in your mouth, there are other options! There are flossers that come on an easy to maneuver handle, making it possible to floss your whole mouth with ease. Another option that is more of an investment would be a waterpik, which has an easy to use handle and cleans in between the teeth with water.
If You Have Dental Work To Clean Under:
Floss just won’t work for under or around certain devices or dental work. There are multiple options for cleaning under or around different dental devices. “Superfloss” can be a patient’s best friend for cleaning under a dental bridge, around an implant, or around a fixed retainer or braces. The stiffened ends make it possible to thread the superfloss under or around a hard to clean area, and the middle is made up of spongy, extra thick floss that plaque sticks to. A waterpik is another (investment) option for cleaning around bridges as well.
If You Just Hate Flossing:
Last but not least, if you just plain hate flossing, there is hope for you! One way to start and maintain the habit of flossing is to do it when you are distracted. Buy flossers with a pleasant minty taste and keep them on your coffee table, and floss when you are watching TV. Keep them in your car cup holder and floss at red lights. Forming a habit is key, because it will become something you don’t even have to think about, and you reap all the health benefits.
Ultimately the best flossing option is one you will use. Flossing reduces the risk of periodontal disease and cavities, which contributes to better overall health. It is imperative to be cleaning between your teeth regularly, and you’ll have better dental check ups because of it. If you are interested in improving your oral health, or have any questions or dental needs, please contact Spokane Dental at (509)822-5614.
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