Second only to brushing, dental flossing is the most important way to maintain good oral hygiene and keep your mouth healthy. Brushing teeth gets most of the bacteria that causes cavities and other gum disease. However, bacteria can hide in between the teeth. Everyone needs to floss in order to reach those small places. It takes plaque 24 hours to build back up on the surface of your teeth. So, with that being said, dental flossing needs to be used at least once a day to keep from any problems arising.
It takes only 24 hours for plaque to turn into tartar. Tartar is calcified plaque that is formed by the minerals and fluids in your mouth. It is very important that this is done every day because plaque and tartar can lead to more severe problems if not treated in time. When plaque is fully calcified, only a dentist and his professional tools can properly remove it. Once it gets to that point, dental flossing and brushing will not do the job.
There are a few different kinds of material and tools that people can use for dental flossing. Everybody has different needs, so consulting with a dentist to find the right one is necessary. The basic form comes either waxed or unwaxed. To get good control of it, it’s usually easiest to wrap it around the fingers. To help prevent plaque and tartar build-up, floss without using a wand or apparatus. First, tear off 18 inches of material, and wind the ends around the middle finger of each hand. Your thumb and index finger can now be used to grip it. Doing all of that should leave about 1 inch to be used for the dental flossing. Move it in a simple sideways motion to get between the teeth. Curve it to where it is shaped like the letter "C" to get around the sides of the teeth better. Slide it over the gum line very gently to prevent bleeding. The gum line is a fragile area, but it still needs to be cleaned. Sometimes it may be needed to move it in an up and down motion to reach certain places. Stop and rewind the material around your fingers after every use. Move the worn out section down so a new section can be used. If someone has never done this before, or it has been a long time since the last flossing, some bleeding of the gums can be expected. This should stop occurring in about a week or so. If it does not stop, check with a dentist to see what is going on.
Some companies now make dental floss that is held in place and has a handle so a person can navigate better. This makes things a lot easier and faster. But wands and apparatus are not as effective as flossing with regular dental floss. For people who have bridges or other kinds of dental hardware in their mouth, companies have come up with a kind that can be threaded under the equipment.
At Modern Dental Solutions, we know it can be tough to floss every day, but it’s important for your oral and overall health! But don’t let your lack of flossing deter you from visiting us in London, KY. We welcome all patients - old and new - no matter what state his or her mouth is in!