According to most experts, there’s a very simple formula for keeping your teeth healthy year-round: brush twice a day for two minutes, floss once a day, and visit your dentist at least twice a year. It’s not a very long list of instructions, but a comprehensive study done by the CDC in 2016 found that around only 30% of the population were taking their dentists’ instructions to heart when it comes to flossing, as most people believe that brushing is enough to remove tooth-damaging plaque and food particles from between their teeth. However, as any dentist will confirm, not flossing can lead to gum disease, which in turn can lead to tooth decay or loss, and has even been linked to heart disease in recent studies.
Choosing the Right Floss
Just like toothbrushes, there are multiple types of floss to be found on store shelves, and finding the right kind can be overwhelming at first. The most common flosses are:
- Unwaxed/waxed floss
- Flavored/unflavored floss
- Dental Tape
- Flossing picks
In recent years, electric flossers have also been added to the list of flossing products. So how do you choose? The amount of space between your teeth and the level of comfort you experience when attempting to get the floss between them is the best measure, which means that a bit of trial and error may be required at first. However, dentists have a few suggestions to help your search for the best floss for you. If your teeth are very tight, going with a waxed floss, either flavored or unflavored as you prefer, is a good place to start. If you have wider gaps in your teeth, dental tape will clean the spaces between your teeth best. Meanwhile, if wrapping the traditional dental tape around your fingers is too uncomfortable, difficult, or you’re having trouble reaching all of the spaces between your teeth, then floss picks or an electric flosser are better choices for you.
What Your Dentist Wants You to Know
Experiment with different products to determine if you have large gaps between your teeth or if you need wax covered floss. The process may be frustrating for you as you try to develop a habit of flossing while also switching products, but what you need to remember is that you’re flossing, and that’s what’s most important. You’re doing something essential for your health, and there’s no harm in having to change the way you do it from time to time. You’re doing yourself a huge favor by continuing to look for just the right product.
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Silva to discuss various dental floss products and proper flossing techniques. It’s also the beginning of the year, which means it’s time to schedule an appointment for a dental checkup as well. Give us a call today!