Flossing 101

It is common knowledge that good dental hygiene includes brushing after every meal, but the importance of cleaning in between your teeth is often underplayed. If pressed for time, people often skip out on daily flossing, even when maintaining good brushing habits. Unfortunately, brushing does not remove bacteria from in between the teeth, and this causes a host of problems. Bacteria in the mouth produces acid which eats away at the enamel of the tooth, causing cavities. It also causes bad breath, and can harden into tartar, which can only be removed by your dentist. Tartar can breed dangerous forms of bacteria, which can irritate the gums—this is known as gingivitis. Ultimately, this can lead to bone or tooth loss if left untreated.

  Studies have shown that flossing every day can prolong your life by six years. Statistics like that are convincing, but flossing may seem tedious due to using floss that shreds or having teeth that are overcrowded. Fortunately, there are other options to make the task easier and more manageable. Listed below are some alternative methods to clean between your teeth and improve your overall dental health.

  1. Sulca brush—this brush is designed to clean along the gum line and has been proven to be as effective as flossing
  2. Water pick—uses a fine water stream in order to blast bacteria out from in between the teeth and gums
  3. Shower flosser—this uses the same concept as the water pick, but is used while in the shower to reduce mess. As Dr. Oz says, “Only floss the teeth you want to keep.” We care about your oral health and hope these tips prove helpful in your daily hygiene routine. Please call our office or email [email protected] with any questions about cleaning between your teeth. Ask your dental hygienist at your next appointment for flossing tips or tutorials on the other tools listed above. 
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About the author

A practicing dentist since 1982, Dr. Gary Imm, provides advanced cosmetic dentistry, including smile makeovers, sedation, implant and TMJ services. He is committed to progressive, extraordinary care for his guests. All Smiles Dental Care trains at least 300 hours each year at such prestigious centers as the Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dentistry. (LVI)