Flossing is THE MOST IMPORTANT part of your daily routine. It is physically impossible for any other dental aid to slide in between your tooth and gum tissue, adapt to the individual curve of your tooth and reach 3 mm below the gum line.
Over my 20 years in the dental field, I have heard excuse after excuse for people not flossing. Unless you are in a coma, sick in the hospital, or do not have the use of your arms, there is no excuse. With the right guidance, flossing is easy. I have found that many people were simply never taught how to floss correctly. NEVER be intimidated to ask your hygienist how to properly floss, it will make their day!
If you honestly can not use regular floss, floss picks are a weak alternative. I am not a huge fan of picks. They fail to adapt to the tooth structure like regular floss (I found out the hard way after shoulder surgery), and they tend to leave a fair amount of bacteria under the gums. Why waste your time doing something that doesn't work?
Famous Floss Excuses:
“My gums bleed when I floss.” Of course they do if they aren’t healthy – they're filled with bacteria! Healthy gums DO NOT bleed. If you start to floss regularly you will notice your gum tissue will begin to bleed less.
“Floss gets stuck in my teeth.” This is usually due to improper flossing technique. Floss should be wrapped around the middle fingers, NOT the index fingers. You also need to use a new section of floss every other tooth. Just like rope gets frayed, weak, and worn out at the same point of force, so does floss.
Suggested types of floss:
- Dental Tape
- Woven Floss
- Regular Waxed
***In general, I tell patients to avoid Glide, Oral B Satin Floss, or ANY floss that is too thin or slippery. If your floss is “gliding” through your teeth, chances are it is not grabbing the hundreds of disease-causing bacteria from under your gums. If you don't believe me, compare a piece of Glide Floss to a regular piece of waxed floss. SMELL the difference!