Flossing


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What Is Flossing?

Floss comes in a variety of materials and colours, but essentially, it is a very thin cord you hold between fingers of each hand and insert between adjoining teeth. The cord, or floss, helps loosen debris by gently moving it up and down and back and forth between the teeth.

Flossing is a proven method for loosening debris from hard-to-reach surfaces of your teeth and gum lines. Next to brushing, flossing is a highly effective method for removing plaque on tooth surfaces your brush can’t reach very well.

Another benefit of flossing is increasing blood circulation in your gums. Gum stimulation is a necessary means of keeping your gum tissues healthy; strong gums are the foundation of your teeth.

How Often To Floss

Our office recommends that you practice flossing once a day. Many people find that flossing at night is an easy bedtime routine; moreover, nighttime flossing helps to protect your teeth during sleep, when harmful plaque can do a lot of damage.

Types of Floss

Dental floss comes in a variety of materials, colors, and even flavors. Waxed varieties are slipperier, allowing people with extremely tight spaces between their teeth to floss more easily. Popular flavors of floss include wintergreen and cinnamon. Waxed floss does tend to fray more than un-waxed floss.

A type of material called wide floss can be effective for people with large spaces between their teeth, or for people with delicate bridge work. Floss can be purchased in small self-dispensing boxes. Floss can also be purchased in special, single-use holders, a useful invention people who a difficult time wrapping floss around their fingers, including those with dexterity problems or arthritis.

Flossing Techniques

Most people who floss wrap 1-2 inches of floss around a finger on each hand, and use the floss in between on their teeth. The important thing is that you leave plenty of floss in between to allow you to maneuver inside your mouth.

One effective way is to break off about a foot of floss. Wrap one end of the floss a few times around the middle finger of each hand. You can use your forefinger and thumbs to maneuver the floss inside your mouth.

Press the floss in between two teeth and gently press downward (or upward if doing an upper set of teeth). Next, glide the floss up and down a few times against the surfaces of both teeth, carefully doing so at and below the gum line as well. Repeat this procedure for each tooth, taking up the slack when floss becomes worn or frayed.

Don’t be alarmed if your gums slightly bleed the first time you floss. This is normal and will cease when your gums become used to flossing.

For Those with Special Needs

Those who have a hard time holding on to a piece of floss or a toothbrush can try supplementing the toothbrush handle with a rubber handle grip or ball, or even lengthening the handle with a stick or piece of plastic.

Floss can also be tied into a tiny loop on either side, making it easier to grasp and control the floss with your fingers.

Flossing Alternatives

There are several alternatives to flossing for those who find it too difficult, too painful (sensitive gums or gum disease) or ineffective (those people with braces or delicate bridge work. But remember one thing: Never use a toothpick as a substitute for flossing. Toothpicks can tear delicate gum tissue and may damage existing dental restorations.

One popular flossing alternative is called a water pick, or irrigator.

Water picks use powerful tiny bursts of water to blast away food particles and other debris in hard-to-reach areas of your mouth. Dentists use professional-grade water picks when preparing a tooth for restoration, or in general cleaning and exams.

People with painful gum disease or highly sensitive gums may find water picks useful for supplementing their brushing regimen. And people with orthodontia, including braces, have found water picks quite useful because toothbrush bristles often get stuck. Antibacterial rinses (over-the-counter and by prescription) are somewhat effective.

If you have any questions on how to effectively floss your teeth, please feel free to speak with Dr. Cohen, Dr. DeCesare or one of our Burlington, Lakeside Family Dental team members today.

Lakeside Family Dental
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Michelle sherwoodMichelle sherwood
14:16 22 Sep 22
Absolutely amazing! Very highly recommend! Everyone made me feel welcome and always made me feel at ease as I was very anxious and embarrassed. I required Dentures the whole experience was awesome from start to finish. Very highly skilled! I drove one hour to and from each appointment and it was worth it!
Gary SheaGary Shea
14:14 26 Jul 22
The service is excellent by all the staff and Dr Cohen is by far the best dentist that I have ever been to. He is knowledgeable and experienced and ensures that you are comfortable while he is working on your teeth. Many people are concerned with the freezing process when having work done, but Dr. Cohen is so good that you will literally not feel anything. I would highly recommend Dr. Cohen.
David GagnerDavid Gagner
18:50 15 Jun 22
There is no joy living with bad teeth. Less joy understanding how expensive help can be. Most centres are more concerned with money, rather than the patient. Lakeside, Dr. Cohen and the team, are amazing. Why? Because they put me first. Are honest with options and realistic treatment. They want the same thing that I have wanted for years, to see me smile again. I believe in their team, their approach and their desire to make a difference for every patient. They have my trust.
John WrightJohn Wright
20:10 11 May 22
Dr Michael did a great job on my first implant. I was so impressed with the high level of personal service that I transferred my account from a dentist where I had a 20+ year relationship. I feel Lakeshore Dental can serve me better as I need more crowns and implants. The office is clean, spacious and as safe as any business can be. I recommend Dr Michael and his excellent and very friendly support team
Michelle OagMichelle Oag
14:17 09 May 22
I was recommended this dental office by a coworker, I've had many dentists before that didn't understand how sensitive my teeth actually are and since my very first appointment here I knew I finally found the one. They are extremely friendly, very knowledgeable and will answer any questions you might have. Very professional and clean environment. They bill your insurance directly which is a huge relief, I'm so happy to have a dentist I can trust. They are so gentle, you also don't feel the needles going in! This is the first dental office where I didn't feel ANY pain whatsoever. I cannot say enough good things about them.
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