In Tulsa, and all across the county, when it comes to having a food particle stuck between your teeth, most people will grab the nearest object, to try and remove that particle. This practice can cause more harm than good.
No one wants to have food particles lodged between their teeth, not only because of the uncomfortable feeling but because gum disease can be the result. Nearly half of all adults over the age of 30 suffer from some form of this disease. Gum disease can also affect children, particularly those who do not have an effective daily oral hygiene program in place.
Typically, the first stage of gum disease is gingivitis, but fortunately, it is highly treatable and preventable.
By flossing your teeth the correct way daily.
Also known as interdental cleaning, “flossing,” is the term used to describe the removal of foreign objects between teeth in difficult-to-reach areas.
Thanks to Dr. Levi Spear Parmly, a New Orleans dentist, who suggested his patients slide a thin thread between their teeth to remove food particles, we no longer have to worry, as much, about the collection of the bacteria that develops the plaque that leads to gingivitis.
In a 2006 study, 51 sets of twins were used to research the effects of flossing vs. not flossing. One of each set of twins brushed his or her teeth twice a day while the other twin simply brushed and flossed. Two weeks later, the discovery was made that the twin who included flossing had 38 percent fewer bleeding gum areas.
Any time food particles become lodged between two teeth, danger is the result, as ever-increasing evidence continues to show the connection between gum disease and heart disease.
To floss correctly, the ADA recommends the following steps:
- Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around one of your middle fingers. Wind the remaining floss around the same finger of the opposite hand. This finger will take up the floss as it becomes dirty.
- Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers.
- Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. Never snap the floss into the gums.
- When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth.
- Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up and down motions. Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth. Don’t forget the back side of your last tooth.
Flossing also gives you the opportunity to do a mini-exam on your teeth. As you floss, look for any signs of swelling, sores or any other changes in your mouth.
Dr. Daniel Griffiths continually encourages all of his patients to floss appropriately to combat gums disease. If you have questions or detect you might have gum disease, call Midtown Dentistry today at (918) 743-8539.