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Different Flossing Methods and Their Effectiveness

Flossing is an essential component of good oral health. The American Dental Association suggests brushing twice a day for a full two minutes each session, as well as flossing at least once a day. Unfortunately, many do not follow this advice. A survey published by the ADA found that only four in 10 Americans floss daily.

There are many reasons people choose not to floss. Some people believe that flossing is too time-consuming, while others dislike the method that they use to clean in-between their teeth. The good news is there is more than one way to floss your teeth. If you have been struggling to floss daily, try one of the following effective flossing methods.

Traditional Method

This first method is one that most people are familiar with and that your average dentist may recommend. Start by snipping off an 18-inch piece of floss. The most common types of floss include waxed and unwaxed floss. While both options are equally effective in removing tooth debris, waxed floss is less likely to shred and is easier to slide between teeth, plus the texture of the wax makes it easier for food slide out from those tiny cracks.

Wind the piece of floss around the middle finger of each hand leaving just a two-inch length of floss between your fingers. Work at the back of the mouth flossing each tooth on your upper arch before moving to the bottom. The floss should hug your tooth as you use a gentle rubbing motion to remove debris. Move the floss down the tooth to below the gum line and then back up again. Use clean segments of floss as you move along.

Regular use of dental floss has been found effective in removing plaque and preventing the buildup of plaque. which can contribute to tartar. It can also lower your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. Traditional flossing techniques have remained a go-to for most daily flossers due to its simplicity, affordability, and effectiveness in removing stuck-on food and debris. However, it is not the only method that can be used today.

Floss Picks

Floss picks have become increasingly popular in recent years, especially among children who may have difficulty flossing the traditional way. A dental floss pick is a small plastic tool with a handle and a curved end that holds a small piece of dental floss. Some floss picks also contain a toothpick at the end of the handle which can be used as an alternative to wooden toothpicks to remove food particles that get caught in the teeth.

A floss pick works in a similar manner as regular floss by gently scraping food and other debris from the tooth surface and the spaces between the teeth. However, floss picks are not as effective as regular floss. While more convenient, floss picks do not allow you to completely wrap around the tooth and reach all necessary angles. This means that your teeth will not be cleaned as effectively as if you would have used a regular piece of floss.

Oral Irrigators

For those who do not like using any type of physical floss material on your teeth, an alternative is available in the form of a water pick. A water pick, also known as a dental water flosser or oral irrigator, helps remove food particles by aiming a stream of water at the teeth surfaces. Oral irrigators also stimulate the gums which can help improve your gingival health.

Oral irrigators typically contain a water reservoir that connects to a device similar to a toothbrush. Simply aim the stream of water just above the gum line at a 90-degree angle to force food particles and other debris off the teeth. While oral irrigators can be effective for removing large particles of food, they are not a great substitute for traditional flossing as the water cannot efficiently clean the spaces between the teeth.

Consult with a Melbourne FL Dentist

Flossing should be an essential part of every person’s daily oral health routine. When the right flossing method is used, the long-term health of your teeth and gums can flourish. For more information about different flossing methods or to schedule a professional dental cleaning for a deeper clean, contact the team at Artistic Touch Dentistry in Melbourne FL, today.