Many people believe that the sole purpose of dental floss is to remove pieces of food that get stuck between their teeth. At our Aspen dental office, we explain to our patients that flossing is an essential part of home care and the teeth cleaning process.
Not only is flossing effective for freeing that popcorn kernel, it also works like a skinny toothbrush to remove plaque and bacteria from otherwise unreachable places. In doing so, it plays a key role in preventing bad breath and gum disease. What's more, since oral health and heart health are believed to be closely linked - excess mouth bacteria can find their way to the blood vessels and heart - flossing can play a role in your overall health!
Flossing: Key to Effective Teeth Cleaning
Here are some fun facts we share with patients as their Aspen dentist:
- Flossing once a day can greatly improve your oral health. In fact, flossing just 2-3 times per week will make a noticeable difference if you currently aren't flossing at all, especially in the look and feel of your gums.
- Your toothbrush can reach only about 70% of your tooth surface. That leaves 30% that is not optimally cleaned if you aren't flossing.
- Having some floss available in your car can help you stay on top of your flossing goals. And, if you do get that piece of food stuck between your teeth, you've not got the perfect way to remove it.
- A good flossing takes just a few minutes. That excuse we all make to ourselves that flossing takes too long just doesn't hold water!
- Flossing right before you brush can be especially effective as removing the plaque and food particles between teeth gives the fluoride in the toothpaste better access to tooth surfaces.
- Effective flossing requires approximately 20 inches of floss. That's because it's important to use a new section of floss between each pair of teeth so that you aren't moving bacteria from one place to another.
- Floss is cheap. In fact, the cost of floss is really nothing compared to the cost of the dental or medical procedures you may be avoiding.
- There are waxed and unwaxed versions of floss. The waxed form is designed to slide more easily between teeth that are closed spaced.
- Unwaxed dental floss provides an auditory cue to let you know you've done a good job of flossing. It makes a squeaking sound when the tooth surface it's sliding over is clean.
- Dental floss can be flavored, with options today ranging from mint to vanilla cupcake to pumpkin spice!
- While there are other ways to remove food and plaque between your teeth (using a toothpick, for example), flossing is far and away the best method of between-teeth cleaning.
Why Wait? Get Flossing!
If you're like many people and had some misconceptions about flossing, now you can see that it's a part of home care that's easy, inexpensive, and oh so important! And with a little bit of practice and persistence, it's something that can become automatic. Why risk oral and heart health issues when a quick flossing can help prevent them and give you a cleaner, fresher mouth?
If you've got questions about flossing or want to make an appointment with Dr. Steinbach or Dr. Van Gorden at our Aspen dental office, give us a call: 970-279-5647. Schedule online now!
We've proudly provided comprehensive dental care to Basalt, Aspen, Carbondale, and surrounding Colorado areas for 25 years.