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Z dentistry Blog

Posts for tag: flossing


A critical part of effective, daily oral hygiene, flossing removes bacterial plaque from between teeth that can’t be accessed with brushing. Unfortunately, it’s often neglected — string flossing requires a bit more dexterity than brushing and can be difficult to do properly.

It can be even more difficult for people with implants or who wear orthodontic appliances. For brace wearers in particular, getting access to areas between teeth with string floss is next to impossible; the metal brackets and tension wire also have a tendency to catch and retain food debris that’s difficult to remove with brushing alone.

Water flossing, using a device called an oral irrigator, is an effective alternative that addresses many of these difficulties. First available for home use in the 1960s, an oral irrigator delivers pulsating water at high pressure through a handheld applicator that forcefully flushes material from between teeth.

There’s no question that string flossing is effective in plaque removal between teeth — but what about oral irrigators? A 2008 study looked at a group of orthodontic patients with braces who used oral irrigators and compared them with a similar group that only brushed. The study found that five times as much plaque was removed in the group using the oral irrigators as opposed to the group only brushing.

Oral irrigators may also be effective for people who’ve developed periodontal (gum) disease. In fact, oral irrigators coupled with ultra-sound devices are routinely used by dental hygienists to remove plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) in periodontal patients. As with regular oral hygiene, though, it’s important for patients with gum disease to include water flossing with daily brushing (at least twice a day) and regular cleaning sessions at the dentist to ensure removal of all plaque and calculus.

If you’re interested in using an oral irrigator, be sure to consult with us at your next appointment. Not only can we recommend features to look for in equipment, but we can also instruct you on the techniques to make water flossing an effective plaque remover.

If you would like more information on water flossing, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cleaning Between Your Teeth.”

By Z Dentistry
December 22, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene   flossing  

Find out why flossing is a crucial element to keeping your smile clean and healthy.

It’s second nature to brush your teeth but do you feel the same way about flossing? While brushing will certainly keep your smile looking flossingits best, if you aren’t flossing then you are missing out on one very important part of oral care. From the office of our Reno, NV dentist, Dr. George Zatarain discovers the importance behind flossing.

Think of flossing like dish washing. You wouldn’t only wash the top part of the plate and forget to clean the sides of it, would you? This isn’t getting your dishes thoroughly clean and could leave nasty bacteria on it. Well, the same goes for your teeth.

If you brush your teeth and forget to floss, you are leaving plaque and food to sit in between teeth. Besides the ugly stains, this can cause it to increase your chances of developing decay. In order to really get in between the teeth where your toothbrush just can’t you’ll need to floss.

Floss is the most effective way to break up and remove plaque from between teeth. Whenever you don’t floss you leave plaque to build up in the nooks and crannies of your teeth, which can also lead to issues like gum disease and potential tooth loss. Plus, flossing your teeth every day guarantees you much fresher breath!

You should be flossing at least once a day, preferably at night before you brush. For proper removal of plaque from between teeth, first use fluoridated toothpaste while brushing your teeth, it is better able to reach in between teeth and give a more thorough clean. Use a generous amount of floss and use a new, clean section for each tooth. Make sure to get all the way to the gum line to remove plaque that might be forming underneath. If you aren’t sure which techniques to use or what floss is right for you, our Reno general dentist is always here to provide some helpful advice, so don’t hesitate to call us and ask.

While flossing is necessary for keeping your smile cavity-free, so are six-month dental cleanings and exams. If it’s time for your biannual cleaning, then call Z Dentistry in Reno, NV today.