Any dentist will tell you that you need to brush and floss at least twice a day, and perhaps your dentist has reminded you of this during your last appointment. Brushing is not a problem, although most people have been guilty of neglecting that at some point. Do you floss as often as you brush? Flossing can be oddly satisfying, especially when you're aware of a piece of food lodged between your teeth. Brushing isn't enough to dislodge it, and there's a wonderful feeling of relief when you're finally able to scrape it out with a piece of dental floss. Maybe you have sensitive gums or are prone to gingivitis and deliberately avoid flossing because it can result in pain, and even bleeding. Removing debris that your toothbrush can't reach is an important part of dental hygiene, and yet there are rather a few options other than simple flossing.
Large pieces of food can be easily removed with a wooden toothpick. This should be followed with thorough rinsing, since the pick is not able to penetrate between the teeth, meaning small debris might remain. Your local pharmacy will also sell plastic toothpicks with a finer point, allowing them to penetrate deeper than their wooden counterparts. Never use a metal implement, as this can easily stab your gums with the smallest slip of the hand.
Why not try waterblasting those debris away? An oral irrigator uses a gentle and yet effectively concentrated stream of water to dislodge food particles from between your teeth. It's a heck of a lot easier than flossing, and you just move the cleaning head through your mouth after brushing. It's actually a really good option for diabetics, whose gums can take longer to heal if flossing should cause bleeding.
For around the same price as an oral irrigator, you can use air instead of water. It works along the same lines as an oral irrigator, but it uses a jet of concentrated air to dislodge food. This is good for children as their aim does not need to be as precise as when using an oral irrigator. You will find that you can air floss your entire mouth in less than a minute. Some people might find that it takes a little time to get used to the feeling of concentrated air in their mouth, but it's hardly an unpleasant feeling.
So while it's important to dislodge those food particles from between your teeth, it's great that dental floss is far from the only option.
If you have specific questions about oral hygiene practices, talk with a dentist at a practice like Aim Dental to learn more about how you can protect your teeth.
Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved stories about the past. Whether the stories were about horses, wars, exploration or even dentistry, I loved to hear them. I find that knowing the history of something helps it to make sense and feel approachable. I know that some people have dental anxiety, and I too have suffered, but I also feel like the more you know about dental work and its history, the easier it is. This blog is dedicated to exploring the history of dentistry – What did ancient people use for fillings? How did early dentists numb their patients? Who was the first dentist? Those are just some of the questions I plan to answer here. Ready? Okay, let's dive into the history of dentistry together!