So you’ve decided to make flossing an addition to you home oral care routine. Great idea!
Your local pharmacy is be stocked with all kinds of different types of floss and the choices can be confusing.
How do you know which one is right for you?
Floss comes in different flavours, coatings, sizes, thicknesses, textures and specialized uses. Finding the one that will do the job right and fits your oral health care needs is a conversation that you can have with your dental care provider via telephone or during your next visit.
Let’s look at some of the possibilities that may suit your “specific to you situation:
Sensitivity – Understandably, people who suffer with sensitive teeth or bleeding, swollen gums are are reluctant to begin flossing. Finding soft floss or one coated in wax that will slip easily and comfortably between teeth will make the task more manageable. A daily routine of proper brushing and flossing will soon have gums looking pinker and the bleeding will subside. You should arrange to see your dentist, however, if your gums bleed consistently and your teeth are always sensitive. Don’t ignore theses symptoms as they may be signs that something more serious is going on with your dental health.
Tight teeth – Oftentimes, people who have teeth that are very tight or close together find that traditional floss will shred when sliding it between teeth or that they have to force it through. This can cause the floss to snap through the contact area too forcibly and possibly injure gum tissue. They can use:
Waxed floss that is coated and more resistant to breaking. The way coating allows it to fit easier between tight spaces.
Glide floss is specially woven with a light wax coating making it strong, shred-resistant and easy to slide between teeth.
Wide spaces – Some people have teeth with gaps or they are spaced further apart that normally. Superfloss with it’s unique design can be used for wide areas between teeth, braces, and bridgework. It is made up of 3 parts:
1. A stiff string to help thread the floss through or into an area (floss threader)
2. A softer, spongy to gather food particles and plaque more efficiently
3. A traditional flossed end
Braces: If you wear braces or have dentures, that doesn’t mean that you can’t floss. Try a specialized floss threaders or Superfloss that has a stiff end that you can thread beneath the main wire of your braces and a spongy component that slides easily between the teeth. Your orthodontist will also recommend other dental cleaning tools that will help you clean the particular type of braces that you have.
Children – It’s harder for children to use floss, so start them off with floss wands. Once their dexterity develops and their teeth become closer together, you can teach them to use traditional floss. Some creative people have introduced the concept using mega blocks as pictured below:
*Mobility issues – Finding practical dental hygiene solutions for people who have physical or mobility issues can be challenging. They may be caring for their own teeth or may have a caregiver that provides this task. When it comes to flossing, there are electric flossers on the market that help clean in between teeth. A floss holder/wand, like the one pictured above, or tying floss into a circle for easier handling can also help simplify oral care.
Is your floss always shedding or catching on something in between your teeth?
Sometimes, floss can become stuck on something in between teeth making it difficult to remove the floss without breaking or shredding it. Many things can make floss snag including, a broken tooth/filling, a cavity, tartar buildup or an overhanging margins of a filling. Seeing your dental healthcare provider will help identify the problem, and after remedy, they will ensure that the area in question is snag-free so you can resume flossing at home.
When to Floss…
Brushing your teeth and using mouth rinse does not replace flossing. Floss goes when your toothbrush can’t reach and mouth rinses are not as effective either. Most people find that flossing once a day, usually before bedtime, is ideal for the. Others, however, get food stuck in between their teeth and under their gums often and need to floss after meals immediately to feel comfort. Finding any time during the day that works best for you is the best time! Once you get the hang of flossing, it only takes a few minutes to include this in your daily hygiene routine, but the benefits last a lifetime!