Brushing may not be enough to maintain a healthy mouth and beautiful smile, says Edmond dentist Damon R. Johnson. Here, Dr. Johnson answers common questions about dental floss and offers information on general oral care.
Q: Why is flossing necessary after brushing?
Edmond OK dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: A toothbrush can only reach so far between the grooves of the teeth. Food particles get stuffed between the spaces and can cause cavities, stains, and bad breath. Dental floss penetrates these hard to reach places and removes leftover food debris.
Q: How often should I floss?
Edmond dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: Teeth should be flossed at minimum once per day. Be careful of the amount of pressure used between teeth as too much force can cause redness, irritation, and/or bleeding of the gums.
Q: What is the difference between waxed and unwaxed dental floss?
Edmond OK dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: There are actually very few differences between the two. Waxed floss, however, is slightly better at reaching between teeth with little space. Both waxed and unwaxed are available as a roll (traditional) or as a floss pick, a small flexible tool that features pre-strung floss on one side and a toothpick or interdental cleaner on the other.
Q: Are oral irrigation tools more effective than dental floss, in your experience?
Edmond dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: Oral irrigators can help push stuck food out of teeth but they are not a replacement for dental floss. Dental floss touches the surface of the teeth, helping to remove stuck on particles that a water rinse cannot.
Q: What other tools are useful to establish and maintain a proper oral care routine?
Edmond OK dentist dentist near me, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: Proper dental hygiene is achieved with a number of tools. At the heart of your daily routine should be a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, and antiseptic mouth rinse. Other cleaning aids, such as tongue scrapers and plaque staining kits, are helpful for removing bacteria and will also allow you to see what your toothbrush is missing.
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