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Do I have to floss??

November 3, 2014

Filed under: Long Island Dentistry — drsherman @ 8:17 pm

This week’s blog message comes from our Registered Dental Hygienist. I know you will benefit greatly from these important tips!

Your dental health is necessary for the health of your entire body. In addition to regular check-ups and professional cleanings performed by your hygienist, you can take care of your teeth at home on a daily basis. There are a variety of tools available to maintain the health of your teeth and gums.  Along with brushing twice a day, it is imperative to clean in between your teeth and under the gums. Most cavities that patients present with in our office occur between the teeth or at the gum line!

Interdental cleaners are designed to remove food and plaque that build up in between teeth and at the gum line, therefore helping to prevent dental decay from developing. Dental floss is the most commonly used tool to help clean in between teeth.  Dental floss may be waxed, dental tape and super floss.  Waxed floss is most recommended as it creates friction to effectively trap and remove food particles.  Dental tape is gentler on gums than floss. Super floss is a thicker strand of floss which is useful where gaps or spaces are present.

Some people find floss difficult to use, so there are alternatives to flossing. These other interdental devices might be easier to use and give you more of a chance in developing a habit of interdental cleaning to assure optimal dental health.

A waterpik is an electronic water flosser, also known as an oral irrigator.  A waterpik works by using pressure to flush particles out from between teeth by walking the hose from tooth to tooth.  Waterpiks can be used in conjunction with regular brushing or even as an addition to regular flossing. People with braces and bridges can also benefit from using a waterpik.

Interdental brushes are small, tapered, cone-shaped brushes designed to slip between teeth by maneuvering the handle. Interdental brushed are inserted between two teeth, and then pulled back and forth to trap and remove food particles. Rubber tips can also remove tartar and buildup from along the gum line gently and effectively.

Floss threaders are also available which are designed for people who have bridges and braces where connections between the teeth prevent flossing in the traditional way.

Finally, interdental cleaning are not intended to replace tooth brushing. The various interdental tools can supplement dental floss or replace flossing for those who find it difficult to use floss.  Using interdental cleaners to deep clean between your teeth and massage your gums will prevent the growth of plaque and tartar and block much of the bacteria which causes dental decay and gum disease.

Please call us at 516-538-1100 to schedule your regular cleaning appointment if you have not yet scheduled! We hope you have a joyous Thankgiving and look forward to seeing you!

Yours in health –

Dr. Sherman and Dental Team

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