Most patients are used to hearing questions about their flossing habits from the dentist. “How often do you floss?” “Do you floss between every tooth?” “Do you experience discomfort or bleeding during flossing?” Almost universally, our Greenbelt dental patients dread these questions. In a recent video, Dr. Jay McCarl takes the time to answer some of the most common flossing questions patients ask him. Watch this informative video from McCarl Dental Group, or keep reading to find out more.
Do I HAVE to Floss?
The short answer is yes, you do. Flossing really is important. Between the teeth, food particles and bacteria are out of reach from your toothbrush. Without flossing, these particles remain stuck between teeth and form the acidic biofilm we commonly refer to as plaque. This leads to tooth decay and gum disease. Flossing removes detrimental plaque between teeth before it can harm oral health.
Okay, but do I HAVE to Floss Every Day?
Again, yes, you really should. Studies show that plaque can form crystals and harden to teeth creating tartar in as little as 12 hours. Tartar cannot be removed without professional cleaning, and is extremely damaging to teeth and gums. Flossing at least once a day prevents plaque from hardening. Additionally, unlike brushing, flossing doesn’t offer the instant gratification of teeth feeling better, but over time, consistent flossing does make teeth look and feel healthier.
What Kind of Floss Should I Use?
There’s no right answer to this question. Choosing a floss type is a matter of personal preference. First, we recommend patients look for floss that has the American Dental Association seal of approval. These flosses are sure to be made from safe, effective materials. Then, consider the space between teeth. Patients who have teeth that are close together may prefer waxed floss that makes it easier to move between teeth. Those who have wider gaps should look for a thicker, more fibrous floss (sometimes called super floss) to ensure they adequately clean between teeth. Flossers are a great option for younger patients, those with arthritis, or anyone who struggles with the dexterity to use traditional floss.
How do I Floss Correctly?
When it comes to flossing technique you only need to remember three things. 1) Floss on both sides of every tooth curving the floss around the tooth in a “C” shape. 2) Make sure your floss reaches all the way down between teeth and gums. 3) Be gentle. Gum tissue is soft. Floss carefully to prevent soft tissue damage and irritation.
Schedule Your Dental Checkup in Greenbelt with McCarl Dental Group
Start your flossing routine today. McCarl Dental Group promises you won’t regret it. When it’s time for your next dental checkup, call our Greenbelt dental practice to schedule your appointment. We can’t wait to tell you how great your gums are looking!