Westfield's Dental Department

Posts for tag: Flossing

By Kenneth Krause, DMD
April 12, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene   Flossing  

The most important part of dental health maintenance isn’t what your dentist does—it’s what you do every day when you brush and floss your teeth. And all you really need is a multi-tufted, soft bristle toothbrush, toothpaste, a roll of dental floss—plus a little effort from your hands and fingers.

Of course, manual power isn’t your only option—an electric or battery-powered toothbrush is a convenient and, for people with strength or dexterity issues, a necessary way to remove disease-causing plaque from tooth surfaces. You have a similar option with flossing—a water flosser.

Although water flossers (or oral irrigators) have been around since the early 1960s, they’ve become more efficient and less expensive in recent years. A water flosser delivers a pulsating stream of pressurized water between the teeth through a handheld device that resembles a power toothbrush, but with a special tip. The water action loosens plaque and then flushes it away.

While the convenience these devices provide over traditional flossing is a major selling point, they’re also quite beneficial for people with special challenges keeping plaque from accumulating between teeth. People wearing braces or other orthodontic devices, for example, may find it much more difficult to effectively maneuver thread floss around their hardware. Water flossing can be an effective alternative.

But is water flossing a good method for removing between-teeth plaque? If performed properly, yes. A 2008 study, for example, reviewed orthodontic patients who used water flossing compared to those only brushing. The study found that those using water flossing were able to remove five times as much plaque as the non-flossing group.

If you’re considering water flossing over traditional flossing thread, talk with your dental hygienist. He or she can give you advice on purchasing a water flosser, as well as how to use the device for optimum performance. It could be a great and more convenient way to keep plaque from between your teeth and harming your dental health.

If you would like more information on water flossing, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cleaning between Your Teeth: How Water Flossing can help.”

By Kenneth Krause, D.M.D.
February 12, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Flossing  

What is Proper Flossing Technique? What you need to know about flossing your teeth.

You brush your teeth three times a day, just the way you’ve been told since you were a little kid. Flossing though, that’s something else. You’ve tried to floss, but your experience was less than perfect. In fact, you’ve totally given it up. But now, you’re thinking of starting up again and you would like to know just how to floss correctly. Dr. Kenneth Krause of Krause Dental in Westfield, IN wants you to know Flossingtoo.

To start, take about 18 inches of floss. Wrap the each end of the floss around your middle finger of each hand, leaving only about two inches free to work with. Hold the free two inches in between each of your thumbs and index fingers. Slide the floss up and down between each of your teeth.

This next part is important. When you slide up and down each tooth, make certain to wrap the floss around your tooth in a “C” shaped curve. This wrapping technique ensures you will keep the floss next to your tooth and remove the plaque all the way down the tooth surface. If you don’t wrap the floss, you may miss plaque and cut your gums.

Now, do the other tooth and come back up with the floss. Move to a clean piece of floss by moving your middle fingers to free up another piece. Move on and do each of the other teeth in your mouth, both the top and bottom arches. That’s it, you’re done!

If you have dexterity problems from arthritis or other reasons, don’t let that stop you. Your Westfield dentist can introduce you to a variety of tools available on the market to help you. You can try a variety of holders and preloaded floss picks to make things easier.

There is a big debate about whether to use waxed or unwaxed floss and there are pros and cons to each. Waxed floss is easier for most people because it is unlikely to shred on tight teeth or fillings, however, it may not remove as much plaque because of the wax coating. Unwaxed floss picks up more plaque, but it can also shred in between tight teeth or rough fillings. You can talk with Dr. Krause about which type might be best for you.

Dr. Kenneth Krause of Krause Dental in Westfield, IN wants flossing to become a daily habit, and he’s there to help you on the path toward good oral hygiene. Call him today and find out more about your dental health!