Whatever state your teeth are in, be it crooked teeth, missing teeth or something else altogether, flossing is something that is worth doing regularly.
Many people are put off flossing, for a variety of reasons, but there are far more reasons to take up the practice than not. Perhaps you had a bad experience with flossing when you were younger – maybe a piece broke off in your mouth, maybe you just didn’t like the taste in your mouth – but several varieties of floss exist to solve these problems and as a daily regime for your dental health it might be time to revisit it!
Dental floss is available in different thicknesses and with various coatings and even flavours (great for encouraging the kids to floss more regularly), while floss holders can be a great help if you have bridgework or dexterity problems. With gum disease, prevention is most certainly better than cure.
When you floss for the first time, or after a long period of ‘flosslessness’, there may be some blood – don’t worry about this, it’s perfectly normal, and just shows you that your gums were inflamed from plaque build-up. This should clear after a couple of days, demonstrating the good your flossing is doing, but if it doesn’t then pay your dentist a visit.
The first step to flossing is to prepare your floss. Take around an arm’s length of floss and wind it around the middle fingers of both your hands, as shown above, and hold a small piece with your index fingers and thumbs. Slip this length of floss in between two of your teeth – the molars are a good place to start, so you can work logically through your mouth – easing it in with a ‘zigzag’ back and forth motion.
Making sure to wrap the floss around the tooth in question in the shape of a ‘C’, move the material back and forth, sliding it up and down the length of your tooth. Ensure that the floss travels below the level of your gums, between them and your tooth, to clean all of your tooth’s surfaces, before moving on to the next tooth to repeat. Wind the floss from one finger to the other every so often to avoid weakening it too much, keeping ‘new floss’ on one side and ‘used floss’ on the other.
Flossing, ideally, should take place after every main meal – but flossing once a day is the recommended minimum. Because an immediate improvement isn’t usually visible (unlike simply brushing), many people are put off flossing by its inconvenience and out of belief that it does nothing. However, with such consequences as plaque, gingivitis and periodontal disease all being reduced in likelihood by flossing regularly, it really makes sense to set a minute or two aside.
See the rest of our blog to answer further questions about flossing or dental hygiene in general – keep on smiling!
It’s past the point of preaching to the unconverted. You can’t make people do something they are not ready to do. So preaching doesn’t help, but raising general awareness still counts for a lot. On March 13th No Smoking Day takes place and dentists are being urged to encourage their patients to think about quitting. It is expected that more than a million smokers will make an attempt to give up the habit for good.
Most people know that smoking has been linked to causing heart disease and cancer but not as many people realise the degree to which smoking affects their oral health too. Here’s a list of known problems smokers encounter:
Smoking presents a very real danger to the public’s overall health and No Smoking Day is an attempt to remind people of that and give them a collective chance to quit. The message behind this campaign is overwhelmingly positive, which should be refreshing to smokers! No “make-you-feel-sick” adverts or health warning stamps and shock pictures to put you off. It’s a choice that is up to the individual and should not be coerced by others.
No Smoking Day presents us with an opportunity to explain how stopping smoking can benefit the person. Within the first month of giving up an ex-smoker will begin to experience the following:
The many dangers of tobacco (whether smoked or chewed) can vary but its link to gum or periodontal disease is indisputable. Once a smoker gets to a stage where they have gone past the point of no return it falls to people like us, dentistry professionals, who must try to help them rectify the situation.
No Smoking Day will hopefully help to raise awareness across the UK that if you are a smoker and you would like to quit this year, March 14th would be a good time to try as you won’t be alone. Try to avoid ending up in our chair for dental treatments needed because of a smoking habit. For more information about No Smoking Day go to http://www.nosmokingday.org.uk/ or for information on specific dental treatments please contact us.