What Does Flossing Do?

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Flossing your teeth removes oral debris, food particles, bacteria, and plaque stuck in between the teeth, making you less susceptible to gingivitis and gum disease which can arise from hardened plaque. If it is not removed daily, plaque will irritate your gum tissue, causing gum sensitivity. Once plaque hardens into a mineral deposit called tartar it will need to be removed by a professional dental cleaning.

So what kinds of flossing methods are available to help you? There are string flossers, flossing picks, and oral irrigators, among others.

–Waxed dental floss slides easily between teeth and comes in mint or cinnamon flavors to make your breath feel fresher and leaving a clean taste in the mouth. Waxed floss slides the easiest between teeth, but unwaxed floss absorbs food particles better and doesn’t catch on the rough edges of the teeth, making it less prone to fraying.

–Floss picks are easy to use, especially for people with limited manual dexterity (such as children and people with arthritis) and to reach the back of the mouth (the molars). There is concern however that they are not as effective as string floss because floss picks cannot form a U-curve around each tooth with thread as you slide it up and down to clean. With floss, it’s all about the angles, and floss picks can’t create angles.

–Oral irrigators use a pulsating stream of water to remove plaque and food particles. The advantage to this type of floss is that it is also good for avoiding gingivitis, and aiming the water stream at the gum line helps to remove particles effectively.

Remember to floss every day, and you will be on your way to a healthier smile! If you have any questions about flossing or would like to see one of our skilled dentists, give our team a call at 601-981-8166 today.