Tag Archive - floss

Toothpicks


Toothpicks. They often come free at restaurants, on flights. So no one really gives much thought to how beneficial they are. Oh yeah, they can remove the most annoying piece of meat stuck in between your teeth. But how effective is it for the long run.

As comforting as their use maybe, toothpicks are not indicated for long term usage. In fact, all overzealous toothpick-users will have tell-tale signs of injury caused by inserting toothpicks into the region between teeth. It can cause ulcers too if you prick yourself in the wrong spot or push too hard. A groove or notch can often be seen where people habitually bite into toothpicks.

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Is flossing really as important as brushing?

sAP asked, “Is flossing really as important as brushing?”

Flossing targets areas that cannot be reached while brushing. Brushing targets all the visible tooth surfaces – labial (facing the lips), buccal (facing the cheeks), palatal (near the palate) and lingual (near the tongue).  It also covers the biting (incisal) and chewing (occlusal) surfaces. But there are two more surfaces that go untouched by the tooth brush. The mesial and distal, the sides contacting the adjacent teeth. Flossing removes plaque from these surfaces. So yes, it is as important as brushing. Since it caters to surfaces we do not see, we tend to undermine their role in maintaining good oral hygiene.

Dental floss is available at most pharmacies and stores. For those who don’t know how to floss, break off a piece of floss and entwine it between the forefingers of both hands or hold it between the fingers. Pass it in gently between 2 teeth, until you are beyond the contact point between teeth, and near the gums. You can make use of a floss holder, if you find it difficult to floss using your fingers. Take care not to injure the gums in the process. If you are not sure how to floss, your dentist will be able to show you the technique or check out the video embedded below. The wax-coated dental floss is easier to slide in between teeth. Once you have slid the floss in between the teeth, gently slide it back out contacting the sides of the tooth all along the way. Repeat this for each tooth using a clean portion of the floss each time.

Those who have crowding or improperly aligned teeth should take flossing more seriously, since they have more area untouched by the brush due to overlapping of the teeth. Food tends to get lodged in these areas that can lead to plaque accumulation.

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