Thursday, December 18, 2014

Flossing Facts

Flossing Facts...

Thank you for your interest in our new monthly blog!  For this month's topic, I'd like to share some interesting information about flossing your teeth.  Many of my patients either do not floss at all, or are confused about flossing and its benefits.  It's time we address this important issue...

Flossing memeAccording to the Academy of General Dentistry, flossing is the SINGLE most important thing a person can do to help prevent plaque buildup.  Plaque is the sticky/yellow biofilm that will build up on all surfaces of a tooth.  Flossing your teeth is the ONLY way to prevent plaque build-up on the surfaces where two teeth touch one another, known as the interproximal contact.

Flossing also helps prevent tooth decay.  I would say that more than 50% of the cavities I treat are located in the interproximal contact, and flossing would help prevent this by removing debris or food particles which are major sources of tooth decay.

A common complaint that many patients have is that flossing causes their gums to bleed.  In fact, if flossing causes your gums to bleed, it is a sign that you have active periodontal disease (inflammation of gum tissues and the bone).  In addition to having your teeth cleaned professionally every 6 months, flossing is an easy home remedy for controlling periodontal disease.

There are many types of dental floss.  You can try both waxed or unwaxed floss, flavored or unflavored.  There is traditional floss that you can unroll or there are floss sticks that are much easier for younger patients to use.  There are also special types of floss that make it easier to floss underneath "bridges" or other hard to reach areas.

If you have any questions regarding the benefits of flossing, please do not hesitate to contact Beachside Dental at (805) 308-6998 or