Denture Talk: Flossing Facts

Denture Talk: Flossing Facts

No matter if you have dental appliances like bridges or partial dentures or all your natural teeth, it is important to floss your teeth. If you have dental appliances, it is also important to floss between the appliance and your gums, so you can protect your overall health. Our dentists at Castle Rock Dental want you to have all the real flossing facts so you have the answers to the what, how, and why of dental floss.

Types Of Dental Floss

There are many varieties of dental floss, and which one you prefer to use will mostly depend on your preference. Some of the dental flosses are better suited to some mouths than other, so be sure to read through our descriptions of the different flosses.

  • Unwaxed floss – Extremely thin nylon strands are twisted together to create this type of floss. It is flexible enough to pass between tightly-spaced teeth but can be prone to fraying as you use it.
  • Waxed floss – Generally created the same as unwaxed floss, this type of floss just has a layer of wax to help prevent fraying. Sometimes flavoring like mint is added to waxed flosses. The use of wax can make the floss a bit harder to pass through tightly-spaced teeth.
  • Dental tape – One of the now more common types of dental floss, dental tape comes in both waxed and unwaxed variants.  Dental tape is flat and usually wider than regular floss, it can clean more effectively between teeth thanks to the amount of area it covers when used.
  • Floss threader – If you have dental appliances, it can be difficult to pass floss through them. A floss threader is like an incredibly flexible, plastic needle through which you can thread your floss and use the threader to pass the floss under your dental appliance. You likely won’t need a floss threader if you don’t have dental appliances.
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene floss – This floss is a thin synthetic fiber that is often found in rain gear. It works particularly well for teeth which sit very close together.
  • Super floss – Similar to a floss threader, super floss helps people floss around dental appliances and very tight teeth. You will generally find them in pre-measured packs, where there will be two flat, stiff ends to help you thread the thicker floss section between teeth and dental appliances.
  • Floss holder – A floss holder has a piece of floss attached to a small pick, with the floss stretched between a dual-pronged, U-shaped holder.  These devices can be helpful for those who find it difficult to use more traditional floss where you need to be able to move and manipulate the movements of your fingers.

Proper Flossing Technique

No matter which type of floss you decide to use, the basics behind proper flossing techniques are generally the same. There may be adaptation needed if you have fixed dental appliances like dental implants and/or dental bridges.

  1. Hold your floss securely. If you are a traditional strand of floss, make sure it is wound around your fingers a few times so it remains secure.
  2. With about two inches of unwound floss, guide the floss between your teeth.
  3. With a zigzagging motion, move the floss up and down one of your teeth. Be gentle around your gum line as you can cut it with floss. Also be careful around dental implants. Overly forceful flossing can damage the seal around the base of the implant.
  4. Be sure to work the sides of the tooth (right side, back, left side) before you move on to your other teeth.
  5. When flossing under dental appliances like implanted dentures or bridges, go slowly and be gentle as you floss.

How much good flossing does you is highly dependent on your efforts. Be sure to floss once a day, preferably at the end of the day. For flossing advice and all other dental concerns, be sure to contact us for an appointment so our dentists can consult with you.

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