Do you ever get overwhelmed by the sheer number of toothbrushes, toothpastes, mouthwashes, and floss available? To make it worse, new options seem to appear weekly. Generally, your choice for toothpaste is fairly simple, but choosing the right floss can be more complicated.
It is easier to understand why there are so many options for floss if you understand how flossing boosts your oral health. Floss is specifically used to clean the areas between your teeth and the space between your gums and your teeth. According to WebMD, only 49% of Americans floss every day and 10% say they never floss. The CDC reports that approximately 47.2% of Americans adults—or 64.7 million individuals—have some form of periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease. In fact, the rate increases to 70.1% for adults who are older than 65. The main way to prevent this problem is simply practicing good oral hygiene—including brushing and flossing every day.
Now we need to decide which type of floss is best for you. There are waxed, with fluoride, flat, flavored, and disposable and reusable flossers. Of course your choice should be influenced by your own preferences and situation. For example, some individuals have tight teeth that could fray standard floss. Remember to floss around each tooth, as flat floss may not remove as much as regular or twisted floss. Most flossers use flat or waxed floss, so use extra care around each tooth. This may be difficult with a flosser or very fine floss. Also, you may want to consider floss with fluoride if you have kids with periodontal disease to help make their teeth more resistant to decay. You may also need a threader if you have a crown or a retainer to get between teeth. Your choices are virtually endless.
The best thing you can do for your oral health is brush and floss daily. If you are in a hurry, use a flosser, but if you have extra time, we recommend the twisted style floss for a deep clean. Please set the example for your kids and encourage them to practice good oral hygiene when they are you. Remember to see your dentist for routine exams and cleanings.
If you would like to learn more about flossing, please call your dentist. Since half of their patients miss out on the benefits of flossing, they’ll be happy to answer your questions.