How to Decide
There is no questions or discussions here; if you have teeth and two hands, you should be flossing your teeth. Only flossing can properly remove food and plaque particles which buildup between your teeth. A toothbrush can not do this well enough and it won’t replace the functions of a dental floss. Buildup of food and plaque between the teeth can lead to cavities and bone loss in the region. The potential to slightly damage your teeth or gums is a far less serious consequence than developing gum disease or cavities and shouldn’t stop you from flossing your teeth regularly.
helpful hint – Bleeding gums are usually one of the earliest signs of gum disease. If you are flossing regularly but your gums are still continuing to bleed, then this may be an indication that something is wrong. You might be flossing incorrectly or you may just be overdue a dental cleaning. Either way, if you are flossing and your gums don’t stop bleeding after a while then you should go and see the dentist to discuss your flossing techniques, receive a dental cleaning and see if you have gum disease or not.
When is flossing your teeth not enough to clean your teeth?
If you have really advanced gum disease, the gaps between the teeth become very large and dental floss alone can not sufficiently clean these gaps. You need to resort to other types of interproximal cleaning instruments such as rubber tip, go-between brush or water-irrigation (waterpik) devices to properly clean these large gaps.
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Should I Floss My Teeth: Pros NOT flossing
1. Argument that flossing may damage the gums. It has not been verified that this is actually true and we haven’t really seen cases of severely damaged teeth or gums because of flossing in our patients. There is the possibility that very aggressive flossing can slightly damage your gums over the years. But even so, we already know that brushing too hard can damage the gums, yet no one is telling you to stop brushing. Any potential minor damages to the gums that result from either brushing or flossing is far better than the risks which arise from neglecting your oral hygiene and waiting for cavities or gum disease to develop.
2. Flossing can be somewhat time consuming. Flossing your teeth correctly takes time. Shortcuts and rushing through it doesn’t work well and will leave food and plaque particles behind. If you’re simply snapping the floss up and down rapidly without hugging and gliding each tooth surface, then you are not flossing well enough. Each and every contact between the teeth needs to be thoroughly flossed separately and carefully. You must pay attention to remove plaque and food particle from both teeth which make up each space. Most dentists recommend flossing at least once a day and many feel that flossing is more important than brushing, particularly as you get older.
3. Flossing is very technique sensitive. The way you floss your teeth makes a big difference in the results you get. To floss correctly you must go in between the teeth, hug each tooth surface, and move the floss up and down throughly to remove all the food and plaque sitting on both the front and the back tooth which compromise the gap. Simply snapping the floss up and down is not enough and you could be wasting your time.
helpful hint – If you have a dental bridge, which is basically several crowns attached together or any other type of splinted crowns, then you can’t place a dental floss in between these crowns as they are attached together. There is a special type of floss such as a superfloss or a floss threader which can be used to pass underneath the bridge to help clean this region.
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Should I Floss My Teeth: Pros of Flossing
How to Decide?
There are no questions or decision making here, a traditional dental floss is the only acceptable option to clean in between your teeth. A floss-holder is only acceptable as a supplement and not a substitute to regular flossing.
Traditional dental floss is still king as it gives you superior cleaning between your teeth. It isn’t simply enough to snap the floss up and down in between each gap and how you floss makes a big difference in the outcome. The purpose of using dental floss is to properly remove all food and plaque particles trapped below your gumlines and in between your teeth. A traditional dental floss allows you full control to go below the gumlines, hug each tooth surface and clean them thoroughly. A floss-pick may work faster but it is also far less effective at thoroughly cleaning these gaps.
We recommend sticking with the traditional dental floss option for daily use. However we are not opposed to supplementing regular flossing routine with a floss-pick on occasions where you just need a quick cleaning and have no access or time to use dental floss dispenser. Taking a floss-pick to clean your teeth while on your lunch break at work is not a bad way to keep these areas extra clean until you have a chance to get home and floss the correct way. It may also not be a bad option when going on vacations for a short time if you prefer to do so. But we still must advise you that a floss-pick should not be a replacement for traditional dental flossing but only a supplement to it.
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Floss-Pick vs. Dental Floss: Pros of Traditional Dental Floss