Before toothbrushes were ever invented people invariably removed particles of trapped food from their teeth using a toothpick straight after a meal. Whether at a restaurant or at the family dinner table the venerable toothpick was on hand. People’s habits tend to be more concealed today and picking and scraping at a morsel of food with a toothpick is, in many countries, a thing of the past.
The toothpick for keeping teeth clean is not a long forgotten tool but it has been more or less been replaced by dental floss. This is a type of strong synthetic thread that won’t break easily when tugged through the spaces between the teeth. It’s often smothered in peppermint flavour to freshen the taste of the breath.
Floss is an inter-dental cleaner which means it is designed specifically to clean the narrow spaces that separate the teeth and the space between the gums and the base of the teeth. This can’t be done so easily with a toothbrush.
Dental floss can remove stubborn tartar and concealed food particles. The rubbing motion between the teeth dislodges food particles and cleans off the tartar buildup that can feed the bacteria that constantly invade our teeth and gums.
Plaque can develop on any part of the outer tooth’s surface whether on the exposed surface or between the teeth. Many people brush the visible surface to keep the teeth sparkling white while forgetting that plaque build up is the secret tooth killer and is quietly invading the tooth enamel between the teeth. The use of dental floss twice a day prevents all that ensuring healthy teeth into the future.
Have you often wondered why your teeth still smell of bad breath after the twice daily 2-minute brush? That’s because you haven’t used dental floss between your teeth. Food that is not removed starts to decay, leaving your breath to smell bad.
Have you ever noticed unsightly wine and coffee stains lodged between your teeth? They are very noticeable but it’s hard to remove by brushing alone and it’s necessary to use dental floss for a couple of minutes twice a day to keep those noticeable stains at bay. The gentle forwards and backwards motion attacks the stains before they get a firm hold.
If you have heard of dental floss but you have never used it before you can purchase it at a pharmacy or grocery store. It is a tough wax like thread that comes in different colours and flavours. It is normally packed in a nice neat hygienic container allowing the user to unroll it easily.
You can always learn more about dental floss, proper flossing techniques and available helpful tools from your local dentist.
If you want to learn more about flossing or come in for a cleaning, contact Dr. Ralhan in Oakville or Burlington and we will be happy to help you!