Did you know that the global dental floss market is worth over $558 million? That’s a lot of floss and shows that millions of us care about our dental health.
Recently, there has been an increased awareness of how oral health benefits our overall health. So when you floss, you’re not just doing your teeth and gums a favor. By keeping them in great shape, you’re benefiting your whole body!
But floss is not a one-size-fits-all product. There are so many types of floss on sale that it can be hard to know which is right for you.
Let’s explore the different types of dental floss, how to use them, and who should use them.
Who Needs to Use Dental Floss?
Floss is a type of interdental cleaner, meaning it goes in between the teeth. There are also tiny interdental brushes that do much the same job.
The American Dental Association recommends cleaning between your teeth with floss every day. Kids should also start flossing when their teeth become close together. They may benefit from a wider type of floss.
Flossing helps to remove plaque from between the teeth. If you don’t floss regularly, this can develop into tartar. Tartar can only be removed by a dentist and can cause gum disease.
The different floss types all do the same basic job. But they feature different designs or features that make them easier for certain people to use or more appealing.
The Many Types of Dental Floss
If you’ve got teeth, there’s a floss out there that’s right for you. Here are the top choices that are widely available today.
Regular floss is made from nylon. Waxed varieties feature a thin layer of wax that lubricates the floss and makes it easier to use. This is great if your teeth are very close together as it’s easier for the floss to get where it needs to.
It’s also great for beginners and comes in a range of enticing flavors!
Unwaxed floss is also made of nylon, but it can have the tendency to shred. That’s because it’s not lubricated like waxed floss.
However, some people love the fact that it’s unflavored and is super thin. That makes it easier to maneuver if you have crowded teeth.
Floss can also be made from recycled polyesters and is then infused with natural ingredients. These products are noted for their strength and shred resistance. They are slightly textured, which helps to remove plaque from tooth surfaces.
They are also flexible and can fit between most surfaces. They use natural lubricants, such as coconut oil and vegan wax.
Silk floss is an option for people who like to keep things natural.
It’s 100% biodegradable. It’s naturally smooth and glides easily between the teeth. It’s just as effective as regular nylon floss.
PTFE floss is very strong, soft, and thin. It glides effortlessly between teeth, getting into the tiniest spaces with ease. For this reason, it’s growing in popularity right now.
If you find flossing uncomfortable, give PTFE floss a try. You may find it much kinder to your gums and it might help you get back in the habit.
Dental tape is a wider, flatter style of floss. Some people find it easier to use due to its flat shape and the fact that it’s stretchy. Its shape makes it easy to slide between teeth.
If you’re struggling with regular floss, dental tape might be a good alternative.
Instead of using floss, a water flosser directs a jet of water into the area between your teeth. However, some dental professionals don’t recommend them.
The ADA gives its Seal of Acceptance to water flossers that can get rid of plaque. If you do buy one, make sure that it has this seal so you know that it will be effective.
Floss picks are ideal if you find regular types of floss difficult to use. These small tools can be maneuvered between even the most inaccessible teeth at the back of the mouth.
Soft picks are interdental brushes that are an on-the-go alternative to floss.
They feature a tapered end with bristles that can fit in gaps between teeth. They are also great for cleaning around dental work, such as bridges, crowns, and implants. They’re just as effective as floss when used correctly and are a great option for people who find regular flossing too difficult.
It is possible to floss teeth with braces with regular waxed floss. Don’t choose unwaxed, because it can break and get caught in the braces, not good.
It takes a lot of time and it can be quite frustrating to thread the floss through the braces to get the job done. An oral irrigator/ water flosser could be a simpler option. They come with tips for orthodontics and because they use water there’s no threading involved.
Floss threaders are a great option for braces. They allow you to tackle teeth one by one. Reload it with fresh floss after completing one set of teeth.
Dental tape is another great option for brace wearers. It’s wider, more spongy, and just more comfortable than regular floss. The only drawback is that you have to use it the same way you would traditional floss.
Which Floss Is the Best?
And the winner is… all of them!
The best type of floss is the one that you will actually use. If you find your current floss too difficult, consider switching to one of these alternatives. You might find one that is better suited to your particular needs.
The key is regularity. Choose a type of floss that will help you to floss every day.
The Right Types of Floss for You
It’s true that there are a lot of dental floss options on the market. But the best types of floss are ones that you feel comfortable using and will use regularly. Along with brushing twice a day and regular checkups with your dentist, they’re the best way to maintain great dental health.
At Southeast Family Dental, our team is ready and waiting to help you achieve a great smile. Whether you need general dentistry, cosmetic or restorative care, we’ve got the right treatments for you.
Call us at (317) 359-8000 or schedule an appointment today.
Dr. Holly Austgen, DDS of Southeast Family Dental in Indianapolis, Indiana reveals what that weird blue light is that your dentist uses, how it works and if there are any risks to your teeth and gums when using it. https://youtu.be/gddhQso_frs [https://youtu.be/gddhQso_frs] If you can not see the embedded video above please use the following link: What is that weird blue light my dentist uses? [https://youtu.be/gddhQso_frs] Transcript Hi everyone. My name is Dr. Austgen from Southeast Family Dental and today I’m going to talk to you about a question we often get here at the office, and that is, what is the blue light that we use and is it dangerous? So what is it? That blue light is a dental curing light. It’s basically a piece of dental equipment that we use to harden or cure our resin or basically, tooth-colored filling materials, as well as some other materials that we use such as cements and bonding agents that we use to restore your teeth back to health. So how does this light work? When fillings are placed in the teeth, they are very soft so that they can be molded to the correct shape and anatomy. When the dentist or the assistant who is placing the filling is happy with the shape and the contour, they will then set the material to make it hard. That’s where the blue light comes in. We press the light, the blue light shines on it, and it will make the material hard as rock, strong enough for you to be able to chew on as soon as you leave. Okay, so here’s the big question. What about the blue light? Everyone wants to know what it is. So I’ll tell you what it’s not. It is not a UV light and it is not a laser. What it is, is a very strong blue light and it’s blue because it falls into the range of the wavelengths under the blue light spectrum. So like I said, it’s not a laser and it’s not a UV light. So it’s not going to cause any damage to your teeth or your gums. The only danger is if you look at the light for too long. It’s kind of similar to looking at the sun for too long. Dentists and assistants who place fillings are the most at risk. That’s why there is an orange filter on the light to protect our eyes. So no need to be concerned about the blue light or the curing light. It’s been a significant advancement in dentistry for us and allows us to place fillings that are hard, exactly the way we want them to be so you’re ready to use your tooth just like you wanted when you leave. Thanks for listening and remember, at Southeast Family Dental, we love to make you smile.
Do you suffer from fears and anxiety when going to the dentist? Or, maybe a trip to the dentist is a scary event for your child, which also stresses you out? Dental fears, anxiety and phobia are extremely common. It’s estimated that between 5% and 8% of Americans avoid going to the dentist due to fears. Some people (perhaps up to 20%) experience so much anxiety that they’ll only go to the dentist when it’s absolutely necessary. People experience dental anxiety and fears for various reasons, including: * Previous bad experiences at the dentist’s office. * Fear of pain. * Feeling helpless or not in control of the situation. * Embarrassment about the state of their teeth and gums. Being unfamiliar with the instruments, noises and smells in the dental office. This is especially true for young children. At Southeast Family Dental, we understand how the dentist’s office can cause anxiety and fears. But calming fears isn’t just for kids, some adults need help calming their anxiety at the dentist, too. So a dentist located in Northbrook, IL, has found an ingenious way to do just that. He brings a trained comfort dog into his office. The golden retriever soothes nervous kids and adults alike by comforting them during dental exams. In fact, the golden retriever has a sixth sense when it comes to figuring out exactly who needs him the most. A comfort dog really is an excellent idea to calm dental fears, because animals tend to have a soothing effect on people. Other ideas that dentists may use to calm your fears, include: * Providing you with an iPad and headphones, so you can listen to relaxing music or watch a TV program to distract you. * Offering you a blanket for warmth, comfort and the feeling of security. * Giving you nitrous oxide or other sedatives to help you feel relaxed during dental exams or procedures. If you suffer from dental anxiety and fears, talk to our team at Southeast Family Dental. We can talk to you about what to expect during your appointment and help you find ways to ease your fears. We want to make sure your dental experience is as calm, comfortable and stress-free as possible for you.
Stress is a normal part of life. Everyone experiences it at some point. It can cause you to feel anxious, sad, or stressed about a situation. While the occasional feeling of stress is normal, having feelings of stress all the time can take a toll on your health. IMPACT OF STRESS ON ORAL HEALTH Stress can have a major impact on your health, and it can have a similarly major impact on your oral health. Most people have probably experienced an ulcer at some point in their life, and an ulcer is just one example of the way chronic stress can negatively impact your oral and overall health. * When your body is stressed, it releases cortisol, which is a hormone that increases your blood glucose levels. This increase in blood sugar can lead to inflammation, which can trigger the body's immune response to fight off infection or injury. However, when the immune system is overstimulated, it can lead to an increase in gum disease. * Not only can stress increase the chances of developing gum disease, but it can also increase your risk for more serious diseases, such as cancer. This is because your immune system becomes weakened by stress, and compromised health can make it harder for your immune system to fight disease effectively. * Additionally, stress can cause bruxism – an abnormal clenching of the jaw and grinding of teeth while sleeping. This can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). TMD causes pain in your jaw that can be chronic. And, since it does affect your smile, it's considered part of your oral health. If you are suffering from this, we may be able to help by finding a custom oral appliance you can wear at night to protect your teeth from damage. We can also recommend other ways to cope with stress and advise you on steps you can take to improve your oral health. WAYS TO MINIMIZE STRESS Fortunately, there are things you can do to minimize the effects of stress on your body. Regular exercise is one of the best options, as it can help keep your body healthy, strong, and balanced. You should also try to stick to a healthy diet, limit alcohol consumption, drink plenty of water during the day, and try to get enough sleep each night. When you're under a lot of stress, you should make sure to keep up with your regular checkup and cleaning appointments. We can work with you to identify problem areas in your smile and take steps to help you prevent symptoms from getting worse over time. If you're overdue for your annual exam and cleaning, then it's time to give us a call to schedule your next appointment. We can be reached at (317) 359-8000. Our dentist's office is located in Indianapolis, IN, and we look forward to helping you keep your smile healthy for many years to come!
Southeast Family Dental is pleased to announce that Dr. Mark Bohnert and Dr. Laura Geiger have been selected by a vote of their peers to be Top Dentists, www.usatopdentists.com. and featured in the “Best of Indy” December issue of of Indianapolis Monthly. Indianapolis Monthly December 2018Dr. Bohnert is a 10-year winner and Dr. Geiger is a 3-year winner of the Top Dentist award. This honor is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which dentists and specialists throughout Indiana cast votes on the abilities of other dentists and specialists. Inclusion in Top Dentists is considered a singular honor. Dr. Laura Geiger responded to the announcement. “We are thrilled to have been voted Top Dentists. This honor shows us that we are meeting our mission to change the way you feel about going to the dentist, while giving you more reasons to smile.”
Drinking water is essential to your health. Water helps to transport nutrients in your body, regulates your body temperature, lubricates your joints, helps build muscle, digests food and improves your skin complexion. And, yes, water really is healthy for your teeth, especially if it’s fluoridated. Some reasons why water is beneficial to your teeth include: * Tap water may contain fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that naturally occurs in almost all water supplies. Also fluoride can be added to a town’s water supply. Fluoride helps to prevent tooth decay. According to the American Dental Association, it has been shown to reduce the rate of cavities by as much as 60%. However, it’s important to note that not all bottled waters contain fluoride. * Water naturally rinses your teeth and keep them clean. When you drink water, especially after eating, it helps wash away food particles and acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth. Therefore, if you can’t brush your teeth while you’re out, drink a glass of water and swish the water around in your mouth to help clean your teeth until you can get home and brush. * Drinking water helps to decrease the pH level in your mouth. The neutral pH level in your mouth is 7.0. When you eat or drink acidic foods and beverages, the pH level can drop below 5.0. Too much acid can cause bad bacteria to grow, leading to tooth decay, which occurs when the pH level in your mouth is 5.5 or lower. But drinking water can help neutralize the effects of acid in your mouth. * Water helps alleviate the symptoms of dry mouth. When your salivary glands don’t make enough saliva in your mouth, dry mouth can occur. You need an adequate supply of saliva to neutralize the acids produced by bacteria and to wash away food particles. Otherwise, a mouth that’s too dry can increase your risk of developing tooth decay. Drink water as part of your daily dental health routine As you see, drinking water really is healthy for your teeth. So make drinking water a regular part of your daily dental health routine, in addition to brushing and flossing. But be careful of some seltzer waters. Some are advertised as water, but contain additional sweeteners that make them just as harmful as soda. Also, they are more acidic than flat water so should be limited due to their ability to erode teeth. Also, remember to schedule your biannual dental checkups with Southeast Family Dental by calling us at (317) 359-8000.