As one of the most important parts of oral hygiene, flossing removes the food particles, plaque, and bacteria your toothbrush cannot reach. The filament gets in between the teeth and gums to help prevent plaque from hardening into tartar, which only a dental professional can remove. Flossing tools come in numerous forms, so here’s what you should know to help you choose what’s right for your oral hygiene needs.
Standard Floss & Dental Tape
Traditional dental floss comes in waxed and unwaxed versions. Waxed floss glides easily between teeth, while unwaxed options can get caught on teeth and shred. However, fine food particles attach to unwaxed floss more easily. Dental tape is similar to traditional floss except it’s wider and flatter, making it easier for people who have wide spaces between their teeth to use.
Using any type of floss or dental tape requires removing about 18 inches of filament and winding it around your index and pointer fingers before moving it up and down between each tooth. Correct flossing also involves making “C” shapes around each tooth to get below the gumline.
Dental Floss Threaders & Picks
Dental threaders feature loops at one end for threading floss and subsequently can be reused; however, there are disposable options, as well. Dental picks are the plastic version of wooden toothpicks and include small brushes on their ends for quick food particle and bacteria removal. While these tools will help keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy, they cannot easily wrap around the gumline and are best for cleaning in between teeth and dislodging large food particles.
Water & Air Flossers
Water and air flossers provide the most advanced options. Air flossers combine air with small amounts of water to remove bacteria, plaque, and food debris in as little as 60 seconds. The rapid bursts of air get in between the teeth, as well as below the gumline, so you enjoy a cleaner mouth. Water flossers provide the same benefits but use water exclusively to clean the teeth and gums. The streams of water also massage and stimulate gum tissue. While both of these oral hygiene implements are relatively expensive, they are among the most effective flossing tools.
Discuss the best flossing tools for your oral hygiene with the dentists at JP Larson, DDS, and Stephen J. Larson, DDS. The full-service dentistry center serves children and adults throughout the Greater Cincinnati, OH, area and provides dependable and affordable dental care using the latest cutting-edge tools and technology. Call (513) 528-1223 today to schedule an appointment, or visit them online to learn more about the dentists.