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Posts for tag: flossing

By Laurie Mulka, D.D.S.
July 13, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: flossing   oral hygiene  

Are you a forgetful flosser? You're not alone. Only 30 percent of us floss every day, according to the National Health and Nutrition oral hygieneExamination Survey. Unfortunately, if you don't floss regularly, you may raise your risk of developing cavities or gum disease. Redford, MI, dentist Dr. Laurie Mulka explains why it's important to make flossing a daily habit.

What does flossing really do?

Flossing offers several important benefits, including:

  • Removing Plaque: Daily flossing removes plaque from the areas between teeth. Plaque, a sticky bacterial film, is responsible for tooth decay.
  • Decreasing Your Gum Disease Risk: Plaque eventually turns into tartar, a hard deposit that you can actually see. If you have tartar deposits, you'll notice dark yellow or brown spots on your teeth. When tartar forms near your gums, it irritates them and can cause gum disease. If not treated promptly, gum disease can cause tooth loss. Flossing eliminates plaque, preventing it from ever turning into tartar.
  • Freeing Trapped Food Particles: You can't always feel small pieces of food that stick to your teeth. Although brushing removes food debris on the surface of your teeth, flossing is the only way to get rid of the particles between your teeth. Cavities form when the sugars in foods interact with plaque to create acids. The longer food particles remain between your teeth, the higher your risk of cavities.
  • Better Breath: Food stuck between your teeth can produce a very unpleasant odor. Flossing ensures that your breath is as fresh as possible.

What kind of floss should I use?

The type of floss you use depends on your personal preferences. As long as you floss daily, you'll improve your oral hygiene. People with closely spaced teeth often prefer the type of floss that looks like string, while those with widely spaced teeth may find flossing tape more comfortable. No matter what type of floss you prefer, use gentle pressure when you move the floss back and forth between teeth. If you have trouble reaching your back teeth, look for small flossing picks, interdental brushes or water-based flossing systems at Redford area stores.

Daily flossing and regular dental visits will help you maintain your sparkling smile. Call Redford, MI, dentist Dr. Laurie Mulka at (313) 937-1520 to schedule an appointment.

By Laurie Mulka, D.D.S.
July 20, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: flossing  

Most people brush their teeth every day. However, this is a very small part of a proper at-home oral care routine. Brushing properly and flossingflossing are crucial to your dental health and, in turn, your general health. Unfortunately, only about 30% of Americans floss daily. Debunk some common flossing myths and learn why you should be flossing every day with help from Dr. Laurie Mulka in Redford, MI.

Myth #1: “Flossing makes my mouth bleed.”
It is perfectly normal for your gums to bleed the first few times you floss. However, they are not bleeding from the flossing alone. The plaque and tartar between the teeth have caused the gums to become irritated which causes the bleeding. Your gums should stop bleeding within the first week or so of flossing regularly. If your gums continue to bleed, contact your Redford dentist.

Myth #2: “My teeth are too close together to floss.” 
In this case, the problem is almost never that your teeth are too close together. You may simply need to change the type of floss you use. Try switching from regular dental floss to flossing ribbon which is thinner and slightly elastic, allowing it to easily reach between teeth which lie closer together. If teeth suddenly become impossible to floss between, they could be shifting or a filling could be loose. Contact Dr. Mulka to get to the bottom of it.

Myth #3: “Flossing is not necessary.” 
When you consume food or drink, bacteria grow on the teeth and in the mouth. This bacteria is normal, but, if it is not knocked away, quickly grows into plaque. While brushing does work to knock away plaque, there are simply some areas of the teeth which are too small for your toothbrush’s bristles to reach. Flossing reaches all the way down and around the tooth and partially under the gum, removing the plaque and bacteria which brushing leaves behind. Flossing is a crucial part of your daily oral care routine and is necessary to keep your teeth clean and healthy.

Myth #4: “Flossing will damage my dental restorations.” 
Dental restorations like crowns or bridges can harbor the same bacteria and plaque as the rest of your natural teeth, making flossing around a crown or underneath a bridge important to your oral health. Flossing cannot hurt your dental restorations. If your restoration moves or falls out while flossing, the restoration itself was damaged and you should schedule an appointment with Dr. Mulka as soon as possible.

For more information on why flossing is important in your oral care routine, please contact Dr. Mulka in Redford, MI. Call (313) 937-1520 to schedule your dental examination and cleaning today!