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Flossing, necessary or optional??

December 14, 2016

Filed under: Dental floss,Dental Hygiene,Oral Hygiene,Uncategorized — Dr Gillis @ 1:43 am

Flossing, necessary or optional??

People are still asking is it necessary to floss?  They read the recent news article that said in effect that no studies have proven that flossing is beneficial.   Many people were left questioning, ‘flossing, necessary or optional?’ It is amazing to me what a controversy a news article can cause.  The simple answer is YES we should floss!

Let me be more clear.  We should floss or do some activity to clean between our teeth that is as good as flossing every day!

Just a tip - do this to avoid strangling your fingers when you floss!

Just a tip – do this to avoid strangling your fingers when you floss!

This is in response to ‘an ADA News inquiry about why flossing was not included in federal dietary guidelines released in 2015.  The Associated Press noted the omission in an August news story that questioned the benefits of using dental floss’. (See ADA News August 8th, 2016 ‘National media focus on floss; government confirms importance’ for many comments in this blog)

Dental floss or the use of tools such as between the teeth cleaners really is important oral hygiene if you want to have healthy teeth, and gums.  Professional cleanings remove the hard deposits and stain that you cannot do at home.  Brushing your teeth and cleaning between the teeth has been shown to remove gooey plaque.  Plaque is the sticky film that contains bacteria and food that builds up constantly and must be removed daily to maintain or to obtain health.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agreed to this in a statement August 3rd, 2016 (also from the ADA News article August 8th, 2016).

Flossing, necessary or optional Wrap the floss gently around the tooth in a "C" shape to clean the side of the tooth.

Wrap the floss gently around the tooth in a “C” shape to clean the side of the tooth.

Flossing is beneficial starting at an early age - whenever there are teeth touching!

Flossing, necessary or optional? Flossing is beneficial starting at an early age – whenever there are teeth touching!

The ADA News asked the governmental agency why the guidelines did not mention flossing.  The U.S. Department of health and Human Services sent a statement that called flossing “an important oral hygiene practice” and said that by not mentioning flossing it did not imply otherwise.

 

The ADA News August 8th, 2016 article goes on to say that the ‘primary emphasis (of the guidelines) was on the nutrition-based recommendations to reduce added sugars’.

In our office, we routinely see the improved health changes that result from using dental floss.  Flossing is great especially when done well but there are alternatives out there for people that just don’t like to floss.

If you are one of the people that wants the benefits of floss without sticking your floss holing fingers in your mouth, try one of these:

  • soft picks or go betweens
  • floss holders
  • the air flosser
  • water pics
  • toothpicks (especially when used carefully in a toothpick holder that allows better access to the insides of the teeth)

Our office loves to help our patients improve their oral health and we will be glad to come up with a plan that works with your life to help you achieve and maintain ideal oral health!

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis DDS, PC

Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health

 

Dental Floss – Avoid Strangling Your Fingers!

February 3, 2016

Filed under: Dental floss,Dental Health,Oral Hygiene,Uncategorized — Tags: — Dr Gillis @ 6:33 pm

Dental Flossing without Strangling Your Fingers

Our office has found the following technique for using dental floss to be helpful!

Can we eliminate finger strangling from dental floss?

For many people, flossing is just difficult.  Using dental floss is awkward.  It requires good dexterity.  It is a bit messy.  And, sometimes, it hurts!  Not just the teeth and gums either!  The gums may hurt especially if there is periodontal disease present.  The issue addressed here is when the fingers doing the flossing hurt.  A lot of people have complained about this to our office.

The finger strangle problem of dental floss

The finger strangle problem of dental floss

No sore fingers! The solution to painful fingers from dental flossing.

No sore fingers! The solution to painful fingers from dental flossing.

Dental floss tips!  Important flossing notes to avoid strangling your fingers and maintain proper technique:

  • Have fun!
  • Your thumbs and first fingers on both hands should be available for flossing
  • You should use a good quality dental floss, but most will work (if your floss is too thick or rough it may irritate the tissue)
  • Wrap the first or middle finger of one hand with floss over a wide area of the fingertip
  • Do not wrap in just one area as this increases the likelihood of strangling!
  • As you use the floss, continue to wrap up the floss over a wide area of your finger
  • You should be able to pull on the floss without turning your fingertip dark red or purple!
  • Wash your hands before and after flossing to avoid spreading germs to your mouth or to other areas
  • Have fun!

I’m serious, have fun!  You might as well consider flossing fun if this helps you to floss regularly.  Use dental floss every day, once a day, thoroughly to help your teeth and gums be as healthy as possible.  And try these tips to see if this helps you use dental floss without strangling your fingers!  Our office would be happy to answer any questions you have about dental floss or any other dental concern.  We serve patients all over Western Colorado and beyond.  Please visit our Facebook site for more information and fun photos.  Sometimes we post contests there as well.  Phone our office at (970) 242-3635.

Yours for better dental health, Julie Gillis, DDS

Avoiding the Dreaded Strangled Finger When Flossing!

June 3, 2015

Filed under: Dental floss,Oral Hygiene — Tags: , — Dr Gillis @ 2:47 pm

Avoiding the Dreaded Strangled Finger When Flossing!

Yes!! It is possible! And, Easy.

Avoid this!

Avoid this!

It is easy to minimize this uncomfortable sensation when flossing!  Let me demonstrate!

Hold the floss across the tip of one middle finger

Hold the floss across the tip of one middle finger

Then, start to wrap the floss gently around the tip of the finger - ONE time, then -->

Then, start to wrap the floss gently around the tip of the finger – ONE time, then –>

Continue wrapping gently by spiraling the floss down the finger tip - not several wraps in one space.

Continue wrapping gently by spiraling the floss down the finger tip – not several wraps in one space.

You are almost there!

The floss should look like this when you are done - an open coil of floss that does not strangle when you pull on it!

The floss should look like this when you are done – an open coil of floss that does not strangle when you pull on it!

 

Now you can really get to flossing!

 

 

 

By wrapping the floss around a middle finger and leaving the other end free you will have freedom to floss with a first finger and a middle finger, two first fingers, or a finger and a thumb.

You will have good flossing control when you are flossing with a short piece of floss between two fingers.

You will have good flossing control when you are flossing with a short piece of floss between an index finger and a thumb OR –>.

You will have good flossing control when you are flossing with a short piece of floss between two fingers.

You will have good flossing control when you are flossing with a short piece of floss between two fingers.

You will have good flossing control when you are flossing with a short piece of floss between two fingers or two thumbs!

You will have good flossing control when you are flossing with a short piece of floss between two fingers or two thumbs!

And, by making flossing more comfortable, I hope I have made it more fun! Our office is happy to help with any of your dental hygiene concerns – we have lots of tips on flossing and more to maximize your efforts.  Our phone number in Grand Junction, Colorado is (970) 242-3635.

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis, DDS. PC

Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health

My Dentist just placed a bridge to replace my missing tooth. How do I floss it?

May 30, 2012

The teeth on my bridge are attached together so I can’t floss them like my other teeth.  How do I clean below my new bridge?

 

The result? Your new bridge should last for years! You might be the only one (other than your dentist) who knows that you have a missing tooth.

Please contact our office if you have questions about porcelain veneers, all-porcelain bridges or any other dental question.  We would be happy to help you!  Our office is located in Grand Junction, Colorado. Our phone number is (970) 242-3635.

Restoring health, restoring smiles!

Dr. Julie Gillis

“Caring For and Enhancing Your Smile”

970-242-3635

www.juliegillisdds.c0m

Flossing is Good, But Flossing Correctly is Awesome!

February 3, 2012

So, how do you floss correctly?

Dental floss is made of either a bundle of thin nylon filaments or a plastic (Teflon or polyethylene) ribbon used to remove food and dental plaque (see below!) from teeth.  Correct flossing pulls harmful bacteria and food particles out from below the gums and massages the tissue.  Bacteria are constantly accumulating on your teeth and gums.  It takes a few hours for the bacteria to get ‘clingy’ enough to cause harm.  The clingy film of bacteria and food is called plaque.  So, brushing correctly a couple times a day plus flossing at least once a day seems to be enough to manage routine plaque build up.

Gum disease begins at the gum line and between teeth. Daily flossing is an important part of your oral health care routine to help remove the plaque from these areas where a toothbrush doesn’t completely reach. But to truly reap the benefits, you need to use proper flossing technique.

 

Ease the floss between the teeth

Four Key Elements Of Proper Flossing     

  1. Wind: Wind 18 inches of floss around middle fingers of each hand. Pinch floss between thumbs and index fingers, leaving a one- to two-inch length in between. Use thumbs to direct floss between upper teeth.
  2. Guide: Keep a one- to two-inch length of floss taut between fingers. Use index fingers to guide floss between contacts of the lower teeth.
  3. Glide: Gently guide floss between the teeth by using a zig-zag motion. DO NOT SNAP FLOSS BETWEEN YOUR TEETH. Contour floss around the side of the tooth.
  4. Slide: Slide floss up and down against the tooth surface and under the gum line. Floss each tooth thoroughly with a clean section of floss.

    Slide floss below the gums as far as it will gently go in a "C" shape

man flossing

This technique applies to any type of floss: waxed, unwaxed, spongy floss or dental tape. It doesn’t matter whether you start with your upper or lower teeth, or whether you start in the front or the back. Just make sure that you floss all your teeth, including the back side of the very last tooth on the left, right, top and bottom of your mouth. And don’t forget to floss under the gum line and along the sides of teeth that border any spaces where teeth are missing — food particles can become trapped in these spaces, too.

Our office would be happy to demonstrate proper flossing techniques ar assist you to achieve the best results with dental floss or the many other alternatives available!  Please contact us if you have questions or concerns.

Make a "C" shape with floss to clean the tooth below the gums

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis, DDS

This information shared with you by Julie Gillis, DDS PC.  Our office is located  in Grand Junction, Colorado.  We feel that your dental health is the top priority. and if we can make your smile more attractive while improving your health that is wonderful! Dr. Gillis practices restorative and cosmetic dentistry including porcelain veneers, tooth whitening, implants, crowns, bridges and periodontal care.  Our office website is www.juliegillisds.com.  For further information, please contact us at (970) 242-3635.

Yours for better health,

 Julie Gillis, DDS, “Restoring Smiles, Restoring Health”

 

 

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1190 Bookcliff Ave. Suite 201, Grand Junction, CO 81501 USA
Julie M Gillis DDS Grand Junction, CO cosmetic, general, & restorative dentist. (970) 242-3635 (970) 242-8479 jgillis@juliegillisdds.com