Women UK talk to Tracey Evans from award winning Dental Concepts about how to really have cleaner teeth.
Q: DO I REALLY NEED TO FLOSS DAILY?
Tracey Evans: To achieve optimum oral health, you need to floss your teeth every day. Lots of people ‘don’t like it’ or find ‘that it hurts’ but if you floss correctly it shouldn’t hurt, it’s just about making it part of your daily routine. There are also lots of different flosses and tools you can try if you find it awkward, so ask your Hygienist for advice on what might suit you better. Choose a time of day that suits you; if you’re too tired at night then do it in the morning. We should begin flossing when two teeth touch. That means that even young children need to floss but you’ll have to do this for them until they can master the dexterity it takes to do it themselves.
Q: MY GUMS BLEED WHEN I FLOSS, IS THAT GUM DISEASE?
Tracey Evans: If you have just started flossing then the chances are that you will notice an element of bleeding to begin with. Once you begin to remove the plaque build-up the bleeding should then reduce, so it is important to keep going.
This may be coupled with a bit of discomfort but not pain. If you feel pain that persists, or the bleeding doesn’t stop, you should speak to your dentist who will check the method you are using to floss as well as your oral health to see what might be causing the problem.
Q: IS MOUTHWASH GOOD OR BAD?
Tracey Evans: Mouthwash can be used as part of your oral health regime to reinforce all the good things you are doing during brushing and flossing. Most mouthwashes contain fluoride so they work alongside your toothpaste to remineralise the teeth and help to fight cavities. Antibacterial mouthwashes that contain ingredients like chlorhexidine or alcohol can also help to protect against gum disease. There has been much debate over the safety of mouthwashes that contain alcohol so if you have concerns you should discuss this with your dentist and opt for one that uses chlorhexidine as an ingredient instead.
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