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Flossing Can Help In The Ongoing Fight Against Gum Disease

  • November 23, 2016

It’s almost National Flossing Day (the day after Thanksgiving). This is not the most popular celebration in the United States. It is a reminder that flossing plays a role in the fight against gum disease.

And in spite of what you may have seen in the news this summer, flossing is still important for your oral health.

Our team at Total Dental Care of South Carolina would prefer to help you prevent gum disease. However, we are more than capable of providing periodontal treatment at our dentist office in Columbia, SC.

Keep reading to learn a little more about how gum disease develops and what you should do to prevent and treat it. That should include routine cleanings and examinations at our office.

To schedule a cleaning, contact us online or call 803-272-4162.


‘Flossing’ For People Who Hate To Floss

The American Dental Association and our team at Total Dental Care of South Carolina recommend cleaning between your teeth and gums every day. There are good reasons for that, which we will get to in a moment.

Typically, people take this to mean grabbing a strand of dental floss and going to work. Flossing is one way to clean between your teeth, but it’s not the only way. If you either can’t or won’t’ use dental floss, then we would encourage you to consider these alternatives. You can find them in many toothpaste aisles.

Flossers — A flosser can make the act of flossing easier. Rather than wrapping and unwrapping the floss around your fingers, you could hold a short handle with a strand of floss at the end.

Many people find this is a more comfortable way to clean the spaces between their teeth and below the gumline.

Water flossers — You can clean between your teeth without using a dental floss at all. Water flossers allow you to aim a thin stream of water into the places that your toothbrush doesn’t reach.

Using water may be a more comfortable and a simpler way for you to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth.

Interdental brushes — People with braces often use interdental brushes to keep food from getting stuck between their wires and teeth. However, they also may be able to help you clean between your teeth.

It’s important to remember that you should not force a brush between your teeth. If the brush won’t fit, this may not be a good option for you. Brushes are made in different sizes, so try to find one that is comfortable for you.


Reasons You Should Keep Flossing To Fight Gum Disease

News stories from earlier this summer pointed out that studies about flossing don’t provide definitive proof that it helps to prevent gum disease. If you read closer, you may have figured out that the flaw was more in the studies than in flossing.

It can be difficult for researchers to be sure that people are flossing, much less if they are flossing correctly.

One study, which was mentioned in a New York Times, involved dental professional flossing the teeth of children at school five days per week. Those results from six separate trials show that children whose teeth were flossed properly were less likely to have cavities or tooth decay when compared to a control group.

With that said, here are two reasons we continue to encourage you to keep flossing.

▪︎ Your toothbrush can do a great job of removing bacteria and plaque from the exposed surface of your teeth. It’s not as effective at clean the spaces between your teeth or below your gumline. Interdental cleaners can get into those spaces.

▪︎ Food gets stuck between your teeth and gums. These particles contain sugars that feed the bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay. Removing those particles makes it more difficult for the bacteria to grow and cause the problems.

Using an interdental cleaner daily can remove those small particles that may not even know were there.


Treating Gum Disease

If you should develop gum disease, you can make an appointment at our dentist office in Columbia, SC, to get treated.

We start by recommending routine cleanings and examinations. This can help prevent or identify gum disease in the early stages when it is easier to treat.

You also should make an appointment as soon as possible if you experience symptoms like tender and swollen gums, bleeding gums, lingering bad breath, loose teeth, or receding gums.

We offer non-surgical gum disease treatments in our office such as scaling and root planing (a kind of deep cleaning). We also may recommend antibiotics to reduce the risk of a recurring infection.

Don’t let gum disease ruin your oral health.

Make an appointment today for a cleaning or a gum disease treatment, if needed. Call 803-272-4162 or contact us online today.


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