If you’re like many patients, you might not floss no matter how many times your dentist tells you to. You’ve heard it before, but flossing is an important part of regular dental hygiene. Floss gets into cracks and crannies your toothbrush can’t reach. If you just use free floss from the dentist, you may not realize that there are different kinds. How do you choose?
Why Does Flossing Matter?
Regular brushing is great for cleaning the surfaces of your teeth but doesn’t always do a lot to clean between them. This means that a lot of dirt and bacteria can build up here, leading to decay. Floss is able to get into these narrow spaces and clean them out to prevent gum disease. Do you have bleeding gums? Flossing can help this problem both by removing bacteria. The floss can also “tighten” your gums, reducing unsightly puffiness.
What to Look For
Your local drugstore dental aisle can be a bit intimidating. Floss comes in different brands, thicknesses, coatings – how do you choose? A good first indicator is to look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This logo was designed by the American Dental Association to help you make good choices when buying dental products.
This is the major deciding factor in what floss you use. When selecting a floss thickness think about your own teeth: are they tight or slightly looser? Do you have gaps between some or all of your teeth? If your teeth are set tightly against each other a thin floss will be easier to fit between your teeth. Likewise, if your teeth are set slightly widely a thicker floss may be a better choice. People with gaps between their teeth may want to consider dental tape. Despite the name, dental tape is actually just a very thick floss best for people with widely spaced teeth.
Flavor and Coating
The flavor is very much up to personal preference. Some patients like the fresh feeling a mint-flavored floss provides. If not, flavorless is fine; both flavored and unflavored floss works just fine. Another option is waxed vs. unwaxed. Some people find that waxed floss is easier to slide between teeth, especially if they are very tightly set. Ultimately, this is also personal preference.
Schedule an Appointment
Dr. Aubrey Myers at Emerald Isle Smiles is always happy to offer you advice on how to maintain your teeth between regular appointments. Schedule a dental cleaning to learn about your oral health and how to care for your mouth. To schedule, contact Emerald Isle Smiles in Emerald Isle, NC on our website or at (252) 370-9611.