Do I Have to Floss? Do my Kids?

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Flossing removes all the bacteria left over from the food you ate that day, and any debris that attached itself to the surface of the tooth.

Why Floss
With my patients I use the image of washing my hands. But, I don’t wash between my fingers.When I ask them, no matter what age, where I missed washing, the light bulb goes off and they say, “between your fingers!”  Exactly. There isn’t a toothbrush made with skinny enough bristles to go between teeth that are touching each other. We call this “contacting” each other. A word picture my assistant came up with is, “What would happen to your groceries if you left them sitting on the counter?”They’d spoil and smell bad, right? That’s what happens with the food between your teeth. It spoils and gets smelly. The truth is, a lot of bad breath issues can be taken care of with nightly flossing and brushing of the tongue.

Do Kids Need To Floss?
What about my kids teeth? Yes again. In patients with their primary teeth, you often see spacing in the front. These are great teeth to let your little one practice their flossing. However, usually the back teeth, the molar area, they are tight together. This is where I see most of the decay I have to treat. I tell parents, “The back teeth are going to be in their mouth the longest. Floss these for your child, and let them try and floss their front teeth themselves”. If the front teeth are close together also, then you’ll have to floss them all.

Bleeding Gums
If you find your gums bleed when you do floss, then you probably have gingivitis. The good news is, with daily flossing, the gums can heal up, turn light pink and no more bleeding! It may be tender to start, but don’t give up. I like this picture where she has a short amount of floss to help control where she wants it to go. And she has one finger inside the mouth and one outside. I tell my patients to try and go up and down each side of the triangle of gum between their teeth.

Importance Of Regular Exams
Unhealthy gums are red, puffy and bleed. Healthy gums are usually pink, tight and don’t bleed. In this blog I’m only discussing gums. Not bone disease, which can come from diseased gums. A full examination of the gums and tissue and the proper xrays from your dentist will let you know if this may be your condition.

Contact Us
If you are concerned you may have gum disease, our amazing staff will happily schedule you to come into our office.