Most people know that they should brush and floss their teeth once or twice daily for good oral health. Knowing and doing are definitely not the same, though. Here are some fun facts you may not have known about flossing.
The first floss was made from silk. Luxurious!
Today, there are many floss choices. Here are some tips for choosing the best floss:
- Wide floss is better than regular for people who have bridgework or spaces between their teeth.
- Waxed floss is the easiest to slide between teeth that are close together.
- Unwaxed floss squeaks when teeth are clean and plaque is gone.
- Bonded unwaxed floss is more likely to tear than waxed floss, but much less than regular unwaxed floss.
- For those that feel challenged by their own manual dexterity, flossing tools can be very helpful!
- Those with braces still need to floss and with an array of tools designed to floss in and around brackets and wires, it is easier than ever before.
Women floss more than men do.
Although more than half of Americans do not floss daily, those who do are more likely to be women. Even if you don’t have time to floss every day, occasional flossing is better than not ever flossing! (Honestly, are you really surprised? I’m not. Ladies are just cleaner.)
Water flossers are not a substitute for flossing.
Water flossers like Waterpik are an effective tool for removing debris that a toothbrush can’t reach, especially with braces. They don’t remove plaque, though, and plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. Only floss can help remove this from teeth between regular cleanings at the dentist.
An inmate once used floss to escape from jail.
In 1994, a West Virginia prison inmate braided dental floss into a rope, scaled the wall, and escaped. Here’s the right way to use floss that doesn’t involve breaking any laws:
- Break off a piece about as long as your forearm and wind all but about four inches around one of your middle fingers.
- Wind the tail end around a finger of your other hand.
- Stretch the floss tightly with about an inch between your fingers and guide it down between your teeth using a gentle back-and-forth motion.
- At the gumline, slide the floss gently down between the gum and tooth until there is resistance.
- With the floss against the tooth, gently scrape the side of the tooth as you move the floss away from the gum line.
Floss is the best weapon in the fight against plaque.
Plaque and food debris stick to teeth and gums and lodge between teeth, sending an open invitation to the bacteria that cause gum disease. Floss protects the mouth from all that bacteria by removing plaque and debris.
Even the best flossing habits aren’t a replacement for regular dental checkups. Make an appointment with Roseman Dental to keep that smile shining.