Tooth decay, also known as dental caries, is caused by the loss of minerals from the tooth surface. This occurs through a process called demineralization. Demineralization happens when sugars from the foods and beverages you eat and drink combine with dental plaque bacteria to produce plaque acids. These acids attack the enamel surface, and when this continues to happen, it leads to tooth decay.
This dental problem can occur on all surfaces of the teeth. When the decay affects the root surface of a tooth, it can also cause gum disease.
Tooth Decay Prevention
Flossing helps fight decay. When done correctly and combined with proper brushing techniques and other oral hygiene habits every day, you can prevent tooth decay and possible gum disease.
Flossing breaks up and removes food debris and plaque that stick to and between your teeth. This will help reduce plaque and tartar or calculus over time. This, in turn, will help you avoid dental caries and control bad breath.
Types of Dental Floss
A trusted dentist from Laurich Dentistry says there are different types of floss. Below are the most commonly used ones:
- Waxed floss – The waxed coating on this type of floss helps make it easier to slide it in and out tight spaces or contacts in between your teeth.
- Unwaxed floss – If you don’t have tight spaces in between your teeth, you can use unwaxed floss. It makes a squeaky noise when plaque has been removed from your teeth.
- Dental tape – This type of floss is wider and can help people with bridgework. They are also recommended for people with wide spaces between teeth.
- Floss picks – Also known as flossers, they are small, plastic devices that come with a piece of dental floss pre-threaded through the opening. Because of their handles, they are easier to hold and you don’t have to wind and unwind them around your fingers when using them.
- Super floss – This type of floss is designed to have both thin and thick portions. The thin floss cleans the tighter areas and also enables you to slide the floss in between teeth easier. The thicker areas of the floss, on the other hands, will help clean the wide spaces in between teeth.
Proper Flossing Technique
Regardless of the type of floss you use, make sure you follow the right flossing motion to effectively get rid of plaque and food debris from your teeth.
To floss properly, use at least 18 inches of floss and wind it around the middle fingers of each hand. Hold it tightly between your thumbs and forefingers. Next, guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. When the floss hits your gum, move it around the gum line between your teeth. Next, curve the floss into a C shape around your tooth and rub the side of the tooth and the adjacent tooth.
Make sure you perform this motion for every tooth and space in your mouth every time you floss to protect your teeth from tooth decay.
Contact us today if you have any questions about your oral health.