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Daily flossing of your pearly whites removes oral debris, food particles, bacteria, and plaque stuck in between the teeth. Taking the time to floss makes you less susceptible to gingivitis–gum disease that arises from hardened plaque. Plaque will irritate your gum tissue, causing gum sensitivity if it is not removed daily. After plaque hardens into a mineral deposit called tartar, it will need to be removed by a professional dental cleaning. There are a variety of dental flosses on the market available to help you floss, including string flossers, flossing picks, and oral irrigators.

Types of Floss:

Waxed floss slides easily between your teeth, and is available in mint or cinnamon flavors to boost your breath with freshness, leaving a clean taste in the mouth. While waxed floss slides the easiest between the teeth, unwaxed floss threads absorb food particles better than waxed versions and don’t catch on the rough edges of the teeth, making them less prone to fraying threads.

Floss picks are easy to use, especially for children or people with limited manual dexterity and to reach the back of the mouth (molars). There is some concern that floss picks are not as effective as string floss because the picks cannot form a C-curve around each tooth to slide up and down with the thread. With dental floss, it’s all about the angles, and picks don’t do angles.

Oral irrigators use a pulsating stream of water to remove plaque and food particle debris. Oral irrigators have an advantage over other flossing methods as they are very useful for reducing gingivitis. Aiming the water stream at the gum line helps to remove particles most effectively.

Whichever type of floss you decide on using, stick with it and use it every day. If you can be diligent, you will be well on your way to your healthiest smile yet! If you have any questions about flossing or would like to see one of our caring doctors, give our dental team a call at 563-927-4746 today.