Posts for tag: flossing
A critical part of effective, daily oral hygiene, flossing removes bacterial plaque from between teeth that can’t be accessed with brushing. Unfortunately, it’s often neglected — string flossing requires a bit more dexterity than brushing and can be difficult to do properly.
It can be even more difficult for people with implants or who wear orthodontic appliances. For brace wearers in particular, getting access to areas between teeth with string floss is next to impossible; the metal brackets and tension wire also have a tendency to catch and retain food debris that’s difficult to remove with brushing alone.
Water flossing, using a device called an oral irrigator, is an effective alternative that addresses many of these difficulties. First available for home use in the 1960s, an oral irrigator delivers pulsating water at high pressure through a handheld applicator that forcefully flushes material from between teeth.
There’s no question that string flossing is effective in plaque removal between teeth — but what about oral irrigators? A 2008 study looked at a group of orthodontic patients with braces who used oral irrigators and compared them with a similar group that only brushed. The study found that five times as much plaque was removed in the group using the oral irrigators as opposed to the group only brushing.
Oral irrigators may also be effective for people who’ve developed periodontal (gum) disease. In fact, oral irrigators coupled with ultra-sound devices are routinely used by dental hygienists to remove plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) in periodontal patients. As with regular oral hygiene, though, it’s important for patients with gum disease to include water flossing with daily brushing (at least twice a day) and regular cleaning sessions at the dentist to ensure removal of all plaque and calculus.
If you’re interested in using an oral irrigator, be sure to consult with us at your next appointment. Not only can we recommend features to look for in equipment, but we can also instruct you on the techniques to make water flossing an effective plaque remover.
If you would like more information on water flossing, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cleaning Between Your Teeth.”
A large majority of Americans brush their teeth twice daily. However, only about half of those people floss their teeth daily, and 20% of American adults do not floss at all. Flossing, like brushing, is crucial to your oral health, which affects your general health. With help from your Kennesaw, Woodstock and Marietta, GA dentist, you can get the facts on flossing and incorporate this important step into your daily oral hygiene routine.
How often should I be flossing?
Kennesaw, Woodstock and Marietta dentists recommend flossing at least once a day. Toothbrushes only reach so far into your teeth’s small, hard-to-reach areas. Flossing allows you to clean between the teeth and under the gums to remove food particles and bacteria left behind after the everyday use of your teeth.
What happens if I skip flossing?
Bacteria are found in everyone’s mouth. If left to build up, this bacteria turns to sticky plaque which clings to the teeth. Over time, plaque hardens into tartar. Flossing removes bacteria and plaque and prevents them from forming tartar, which flossing cannot remove. Plaque and tartar cause gum disease, tooth decay, bad breath and breakdown of the enamel of your teeth. Gum disease and tooth decay cause much bigger problems, and can eventually result in tooth loss.
What is the proper way to floss?
It is helpful to floss your teeth in quadrants to ensure you do not miss any areas or spread bacteria. Start with one quarter, either upper/lower left or upper/lower right, and move around the mouth, using a new length of floss with each quadrant. Wrap the ends of the floss around one finger of each hand, pulling it taut. Floss each tooth using an up and down motion, being sure to come high enough up the tooth to grab any plaque or food particles under the gum. Additionally, be sure to floss the front and back of each tooth, again making sure to come up far enough to reach under the gum.
For more information on great oral hygiene and flossing, please contact your dentist at 1st Choice Dental Care in Kennesaw, Woodstock and Marietta, GA. Call (678) 293-8773 to schedule your regular dental examination and cleaning today!