Do I Really Need to Floss?

Implant, Cosmetic & Family Dentist Serving Aurora, Centennial, Parker, Green Valley Ranch & Nearby Areas of Colorado

Posted: April 15, 2019
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Flossing is used to remove plaque and food particles from in between teeth. For the best results, a clean section of floss should be drawn from below the gum line upwards to the crown of each tooth at least once a day. This can help prevent tartar build up and act as the first line of defense against infection and gum disease.

When done incorrectly, flossing may be uncomfortable. Worse yet, using a “sawing” motion or more force than needed to glide the floss can cut and irritate gum tissue. If you struggle with flossing, we would be happy to provide guidance during your next routine visit to our Aurora office. If flossing turns out to be a poor fit for your routine, we can discuss alternatives at that time as well.

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What are Some Alternatives to Flossing?

Flossing is a method of interdental (between the teeth) cleaning. It tends to be the most cost-effective, but is not always the most user-friendly. If you struggle with flossing or if you just dislike it, there may be suitable alternatives including:

  • Water irrigation
  • Interdental brushes
  • Dental pick

Some of these may work better for patients with teeth that are very close together. Water flossing is often recommended for patients with fixed orthodontia. All of these flossing alternatives offer benefits to people who do not currently have anything in place to remove plaque and food from in between teeth.

Is Interdental Cleaning Even Necessary?

The American Dental Association calls flossing “an important oral hygiene practice” and notes that over 500 bacterial species can be found in plaque. Interdental cleaning has long been considered an essential step in the prevention of gum disease and is recommended by the Center for Disease Control & Prevention, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, and nearly every dental professional in the United States. The method is not as important as the act. If you need help finding a good alternative to flossing, our team can help you find a solution that meets your needs.

Interdental cleaning, with floss or by any other method, should be completed at least once daily, but twice is ideal. New research suggests cleaning in between teeth before brushing them has the most significant impact but, as with the method, the order in which it is performed is not as important as the act itself. Nor does it matter if interdental cleaning is done in the morning, in the afternoon, or before bed. That this is performed is important. Not so much when and how.

Call Us to Learn More

Dr. Rowe, Dr. Baltz, and the team at Highpoint Dental take time to build lasting and meaningful relationships with our patients. Going beyond caring and kind, our dentists are also attentive, thoughtful, and truly invested in the health and happiness of each person who walks through our doors. We welcome an opportunity to meet with you, listen to your concerns, and help you achieve the strong and attractive smile you deserve.

Call us at 303-500-8701 to schedule your next appointment at Highpoint Dental. We serve Aurora, Centennial, Parker, and all surrounding Denver area communities.