Do You Floss? If Not, Why Not ?

teeth, dental care
@MALUSE (44617)
Uzbekistan
April 18, 2017 12:39pm CST
Why do some people have good-looking, healthy teeth but others crooked ones, holes or none at all? The health aspect depends on a combination of genes, nutrition, and hygiene. The aesthetic one on the health system of a country. Braces are expensive. In countries where patients have to pay for them themselves, completely or partly, many will renounce the expense. In countries where the national health system is generous, you can see pretty dentures and flashing smiles. You have to accept your genes as they come, but nutrition and hygiene lie in your responsibility. Today I want to discuss the latter aspect. Do you floss occasionally? Good. Do you floss every day? Better. Do you floss after each meal? Best. Have you never flossed? Bad, very bad indeed. Why don’t you bum off a piece of floss (about 15 inches long) from a flosser and find out what it’s all about? · Get yourself in front of a mirror. Wind the floss around your middle or ring fingers and leave about 4 inches free between your fingers. · Then grasp the floss between your thumb and index finger of each hand. This may sound trickier than it is. It’s easy to learn. Insert/slide the floss between your teeth. If the gaps are narrow, use a sawing motion to get the floss in. · Move the floss gently up and down against the tooth cleaning it above and below the gum line. Do this also if you’ve got a tooth which doesn’t have another tooth beside it. · After cleaning a few teeth, unwind the floss from your fingers, move it a bit forward so that you’ve got a clean piece between your fingers and rewind it again. I bet you’ll be shocked and disgusted to see what comes out of the gaps between your teeth! You may find some remains from your meals on the mirror, you may also liberate some bad odours. How’s that? Don’t you brush your teeth thoroughly twice every day? Hopefully, this is the case, but as you’ve just seen, it’s not enough. Only brushing and flossing make for perfect dental hygiene. Dentists say that brushing without flossing is like washing only 65% of your body. But flossing is not only useful to dislodge food remains, it also helps to avoid the development of plaque which can eventually harden into a substance called tartar (which can only be removed by a dentist). Plaque causes tooth decay and can lead to gum disease. Bacteria can develop producing toxins which irritate and inflame the gums - this condition is called gingivitis, which, if left untreated, can even lead to bone loss, loose teeth and teeth which fall out. Unfortunately, even if you floss diligently, you can‘t remove plaque completely. It‘s advisable to go to the dentist every three or four months to have it removed professionally. This is what dentists laugh about: Q: “Which teeth should I floss?” A: “Only the ones you want to keep.”
24 people like this
27 responses
• United States
18 Apr 17
Evening ritual - every single day w/o fail and no food after I do this: brush (even though I brush abut 10 times throughout the day) floss water pik listerine coconut oil rubber tip which is used to massage gums I wish I had started this ritual years ago and my gums would not be in the bad shape they are now. By doing this daily for the last two years my gums have improved and so far kept me out of the periodontal office.
4 people like this
@MALUSE (44617)
• Uzbekistan
18 Apr 17
What is the coconut oil for?
3 people like this
• United States
18 Apr 17
@MALUSE To help shrink my gums - I have huge voids and bone is exposed. The dentist is having me do all I can to help shrink those voids and it's working. The coconut oil is mixed with natural baking soda, tastes awful but is working. Something to do with bacteria also. He gives me so much info its hard to keep it all straight.
3 people like this
@MALUSE (44617)
• Uzbekistan
18 Apr 17
@AbbyGreenhill Thanks for the info.
1 person likes this
@nanette64 (18081)
• Fairfield, Texas
19 Apr 17
I had perfect teeth up until the time I moved from Nebraska to Texas @MALUSE . Then I started losing about one tooth per year. Come to find out the Chlorine levels in the water here in Texas were horrendous. The Chlorine was destroying the enamel on my teeth. Now unfortunately I have a complete set of dentures; which I hate because my 'original' smile was a lot prettier than it is with false teeth.
2 people like this
@MALUSE (44617)
• Uzbekistan
19 Apr 17
Oh dear. Poor you! Is that a common occurrence? Do other Texans have the same problem? Or has it hit only you?
1 person likes this
@nanette64 (18081)
• Fairfield, Texas
19 Apr 17
@MALUSE I'm not sure but that's probably because no one else who was having the problem put 2 and 2 together. Not only that but if people did complain, you can bet the water companies would say, "The chlorine levels are acceptable."
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (44617)
• Uzbekistan
19 Apr 17
@nanette64 Texas must be a paradise for dentists then. They must earn themselves a golden nose as the Germans say.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (119373)
• United States
18 Apr 17
I do floss. However, I skip, as advised by my dentist, the one bottom tooth that has a filling that has a tendency to dislodge with flossing. So far, so good.
2 people like this
@1hopefulman (33555)
• Canada
18 Apr 17
Yes, where we have fillings we need to be careful as I have pulled a couple of filling with floss.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (119373)
• United States
18 Apr 17
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (182256)
• Switzerland
19 Apr 17
I floss after each meal and I go to see my dentist to have the plaque professionally removed every six months, my husband every four months. A good semi soft toothbrush and the floss are everything we need to keep our teeth healthy.
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (44617)
• Uzbekistan
19 Apr 17
That's correct.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (182256)
• Switzerland
19 Apr 17
@MALUSE I also use the curaprox interdental brushes, the dentist suggested to use them at least every two or three days instead of the floss.
@MALUSE (44617)
• Uzbekistan
19 Apr 17
@LadyDuck We've also got one of these.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (46145)
• Gainesville, Florida
20 Apr 17
I floss ever day. I value keeping all my teeth as long as I can! haha I had braces when I was 13. I didn't really have crooked teeth at all, but I had a very slight overbite. I only had to wear my braces for a year. Within the next month of so, I'll be taking my son in to an orthodontist to get him braces. He needs them, as he has several crooked teeth. My daughter, on the other hand, has a beautiful set of teeth and doesn't need braces. I am thankful that here in the US, orthodontic work is mostly covered under insurance, so it is very affordable. But you are correct, braces are very expensive!
@MALUSE (44617)
• Uzbekistan
20 Apr 17
You can see how good the health system of a country is by looking at the teeth of the inhabitants.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (46145)
• Gainesville, Florida
20 Apr 17
@MALUSE Do you think that is true? Americans are obsessed with how their teeth look, yet I wouldn't necessarily say we have a great healthcare system.
@MALUSE (44617)
• Uzbekistan
20 Apr 17
@moffittjc Hmm. Now I don't know what to say. You've taken the wind out of the sails - as the Germans say. Maybe my assumption isn't correct after all.
1 person likes this
@pgntwo (22753)
• Tripoli, Lebanon
18 Apr 17
I guess there's always something more we could do for our teeth. Is there any advantage to using the waxed over the unwaxed variety?
@MALUSE (44617)
• Uzbekistan
18 Apr 17
@pgntwo I tried several brands of unwaxed floss but I didn’t like them. They cut into my fingers and if I’m not careful also into my gums. I’ve used waxed Johnson & Johnson Reach Dentotape for some years now and can only recommend it. It‘s a bit thicker than the average floss and it may be a bit difficult to get it into extremely narrow gaps, but it‘s more agreeable to wind around the fingers and doesn‘t hurt the gums.
1 person likes this
@pgntwo (22753)
• Tripoli, Lebanon
18 Apr 17
Crest - Glide Floss picks
@MALUSE Thank you, that is useful to know! I have been known to use these neat little floss picks, they work well and tension can be applied to the floss to help manouevre between those closely-set teeth at the back... These ones are the only ones of this type of device that work well.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Apr 17
@pgntwo I use the Glide flossers also! As big as my mouth is, and as small as my hands are, I still can't get the string floss into my back teeth. These flossers are a godsend!
1 person likes this
@Nawsheen (22955)
• Mauritius
19 Apr 17
I do floss only once per day though. I tend to floss only the front teeth. I think i am sticking to what the dentist says.
@MALUSE (44617)
• Uzbekistan
19 Apr 17
I can't imagine that a dentist tells a patient *not* to floss the back teeth.
1 person likes this
@Nawsheen (22955)
• Mauritius
21 Apr 17
@MALUSE i agree that flossing the back teeth is important too as food get stuck in there too and as you said brushing is not enough to completely clean the teeth. I guess I will have to take some patience and floss at the back. I dont want my teeth to get decayed
@MALUSE (44617)
• Uzbekistan
21 Apr 17
@Nawsheen That's the spirit!
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Apr 17
Although I do floss it is NOT after every meal and there is really no excuse for this but I have a long line of family members on both paternal and maternal sides of my gene pool that did have bad teeth no matter how well they hygienically maintained them. This was a great post on something many don't do for whatever reason, thanks @MALUSE !
@MALUSE (44617)
• Uzbekistan
18 Apr 17
Thank you for the compliment!
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Apr 17
@FayeHazel (21431)
• United States
21 Apr 17
Thanks for the head's up. I admit... I don't floss like I should...
@MALUSE (44617)
• Uzbekistan
21 Apr 17
Oh, oh! :-)
@Ronrybs (7929)
• London, England
21 Apr 17
Always floss at the end of day. After each meal is a bit of a tall order!
@MALUSE (44617)
• Uzbekistan
21 Apr 17
I also do it only before going to bed.
@epiffanie (10458)
• Australia
21 Apr 17
I inherited bad and crooked teeth .. but I look after my teeth as I don't want to become like my siblings who wear dentures .. Yes, once or twice a day flossing is a must ..and I use mouthwash ..
@MALUSE (44617)
• Uzbekistan
21 Apr 17
Inheritance plays a big role, of course. Some people have healthy teeth although they don't care for them because they have good genes - and vice versa. Life isn't fair. :-(
@blitzfrick (2912)
• United States
20 Apr 17
I started flossing after I lost a few teeth. But that wasn't the entire problem. I am allergic to sodium laurel (or laureth) sulfate (SLS), a foaming agent in almost every toothpaste. It was originally (and may still be) used as an irritant by cosmetic companies to irritate the skin of test animals so the company could then test their lotions and potions on the irritated skin to see if the lotions and potions would soothe the irritation. Eventually it was discovered that SLS also works as a foaming agent and it became an ingredient in toothpaste. Within a few days of using a toothpaste without SLS instead of my "standard" toothpaste, my gums settled down and have not been irritated since. I now order my non-SLS toothpaste online and my gums are quite happy. And I floss once a day, at bedtime. The dentist who discovered my SLS sensitivity told me that it takes 24 hours for plaque to form and that I could get away with flossing only once a day. I have my teeth cleaned every 6 months. And I get good reports from the hygienist and the dentist. If I could learn to keep my feet out of my mouth, all would be quite well.
@MALUSE (44617)
• Uzbekistan
20 Apr 17
What's the meaning of 'feet in the mouth'? I don't know it.
@RasmaSandra (20337)
• Daytona Beach, Florida
18 Apr 17
I only brush but I know what you're saying. Gonna have to find that floss I know it's here somewhere. Thanks for the reminder.
@MALUSE (44617)
• Uzbekistan
18 Apr 17
You're welcome. Your teeth will be happy. :-)
1 person likes this
@sabtraversa (13331)
• Italy
18 Apr 17
If the gaps are narrow, use a sawing motion to get the floss in. I think I tried once but got stuck at the "narrow gaps" and surrendered. But once I got the floss in, how about getting the floss out? It makes me cringe. Flossing is uncommon here anyway.
@MALUSE (44617)
• Uzbekistan
18 Apr 17
Don't try to get the floss out by moving it up. The teeth are narrower there. Pull it out near the gums. The opening between the teeth is wider there. You can also get the floss in there much easier. Italians have very bad teeth, especially in rural areas. I've got to know young people in their twenties with partial dentures.
1 person likes this
@AkoPinay (10095)
• Philippines
23 Apr 17
OMG I've never flossed but dentist said I have a healthy teeth maybe because of what I drink/eat and sometimes I brush/gargle with salt.
@scheng1 (24741)
• Singapore
22 Apr 17
I buy in bulk, and I will always carry it with me. I cannot imagine life without dental floss.
@jstory07 (71167)
• Roseburg, Oregon
22 Apr 17
I floss my teeth every single night. I want to keep all of mine.
21 Apr 17
I floss everyday. Even I have an android app name 'Fabulous' which reminds me to take brush twice a day. Do you have such apps?
@paigea (22615)
• Canada
21 Apr 17
I had great teeth for years and years, but now my gums are in poor shape. I do try to remember to floss, but I am not as regular as I ought to be.
@Tampa_girl7 (26740)
• United States
19 Apr 17
That's exactly what our dentist says. I floss religiously.