Flossing and Dental Health

Dental Hygiene

Dental flossing is just one part of an overall Dental Hygiene program that is an important link to good Dental health.  Believe it or not, there are many ways to conveniently floss and improve your Dental health at the same time.  I've listed four types of flossing methods to help you understand the options.

Dental floss is just a piece of string or other device used to remove the biofilm (plaque) from between the teeth that was not removed by brushing.  If left alone, this plaque will harden and serve as a protective cover for bacteria to start to decay the healthy enamel of the teeth.

Floss comes in many types:  regular (simple plain string), fluoride impregnated (used to deliver fluoride in areas that may need it), waxed or gore-tex (helps the floss slide between tight contacts of teeth easier and helps to prevent shredding)

Regardless of the variety chosen, all work well.  The best advice is to experiment to see what you prefer. 


Traditional floss method

The traditional way of flossing involves using a string type of floss from a container typically found in most drug stores and Dental offices.  You pull about 12 inches of string, wrap it around your middle fingers and guide the floss between the teeth with your pointer fingers.

This method works well for removing plaque, but the drawback is that some people may have a sensitive gag reflex which by putting fingers in their mouths will definitely trigger.  Others may not like the idea of sticking their fingers in their own mouths gag reflex or not.



Dental FlossCredit: Wikipedia


Floss on a handle method

Another method from Johnson and Johnson involves using a replacement head of pre-strung floss mounted on a toothbrush-like handle.  The Reach Access  provides you easy access to all areas of the mouth with no fingers getting in the way.  This is also portable so you can take it with you to work, your car, traveling, etc.  The drawback to this method is that it is more expensive than the traditional method above, but you have to weigh convenience vs price.


Access FlosserCredit: Google images


Water floss method

The Waterpik is a device which uses water in place of string to remove the plaque from between the teeth.  The device uses a gentle stream of water or mouthwash to rinse the plaque away.  No fingers in the mouth needed and it is easy to use.  The drawback to this device is of course price.  It is considerably more expensive than the two methods above, and may not be as effective at removing plaque as the string methods above.



Waterpik(55236)Credit: amazon.com

Air floss method

Last, a device call Airfloss from Sonicare removes plaque  by a combination of air and water.  The device creates a gentle burst of air and water when aimed between the teeth, remove the plaque.  You can also use mouthwash instead of water.  The device operates similar to the Waterpik above, the difference being just a burst of air and water instead of a stream of water only.  The drawback of course is the price with this being the highest, but again convenience has a price.


AirflossCredit: flickr.com

All of the above methods of plaque removal are effective and are certainly better than not flossing at all.  You need to decide what method works best for your specific situation.  

Flossing daily will make a significant impact on your Dental health.  You will definitely capture the attention of your Dental Hygienist after flossing on this regimen.  This will also make your visit to the Hygienist fast and easier on your part because there is less work for her to do since you have kept the plaque away.  

Faster and easier Dental cleanings? That's motivation for me, how about you?