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10Nov2010

Dr. Pitts Talks About Flossing

FLOSSING ALWAYS SOUNDS SO EASY… So why is it that some of us seem to have such a hard time getting it done? For something as simple as a piece of string in a plastic box, why are there so many varieties? Waxed or unwaxed, mint, peppermint, or cinnamon flavored, flat or round. Is it better to wrap it around your fingers or your toes? Use a wand to hold it? When is the best time to floss?

Here’s the skinny…

> The type of floss isn’t nearly as important as the amount you’re flossing.

> There are so many options mostly because we all have different types of teeth.

> The thickness of floss that works for you can depend on the spacing of your teeth. Just like toothpaste flavors, floss comes in a variety of thicknesses to make flossing more enjoyable.

> Whatever method, flavor, or thickness you prefer is the one you should use so that flossing is as pleasant as you can make it.

Why is flossing important? Flossing removes bacteria between your teeth that if left alone will harden to become plaque, then tartar. Tartar buildup can only be removed through a professional cleaning. If tartar is not removed it can cause gum swelling or bleeding, commonly called gingivitis, which is the first symptom of gum disease. Yuck!

Thanks to our friends over at Howcast, here’s a short video for you to be sure you’re technique is together:

What’s the “rule of thumb” for flossing? The ADA recommends flossing daily as part of your oral maintenance routine. Because flossing helps clean where your toothbrush can’t reach, it can be helpful to floss first so that the fluoride from your toothpaste can get to all areas.

Dr. Pitts prefers that you floss at night for a clean mouth before bedtime. Some of the people here at our practice use a flossing wand because it seems to give the perfect amount of tension. So pick a flavor, set a routine and get flossing…  Keep those teeth healthy and clean!

And by the way, don’t forget to “Like” our new Facebook Site, and follow us on Twitter! And contact us with any questions you have about your oral health, to make an appointment, or to send along a referral. Thanks!

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