Dental Health in Missoula: Are Floss Picks As Good As Dental Floss?

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Are Floss Picks as Good as Regular Floss?

Floss picks vs regular floss? While it’s better to floss with a floss pick than to not floss at all, it’s important to note that floss picks can only clean a part of the tooth’s surface. Dr. Felton recommends traditional floss or dental tape to improve dental health in Missoula. Here’s why:

A floss pick holds just a small section of floss stretched in a straight line. Looking down, a tooth is shaped somewhat round or oval, with occasional irregularities. A straight length of floss just doesn’t make sense geometrically because it doesn’t conform to the contours of the tooth as well as traditional floss used correctly. By wrapping the floss completely around the circumference of a tooth, you can more capably clean that important area around and just below the gum line. And your fingers are much more precise than a piece of plastic. We have seen patients who are faithful floss pick users who developed decay due to a hairline crack the floss pick missed day after day.

Here is a Refresher Course on Proper Flossing:

1. Cut a strip of floss about 18 inches long and securely wind each end around your fingers.
2. Take hold of the floss with your forefinger and thumb leaving about two inches to work with. Thread the floss between two teeth.
3. Hold the floss securely against the side of the tooth and move it up and away from the gum line. You want to clean the space between the tooth and gum without pulling more gum tissue away, so it’s vital to scrape up and out of the pocket.
4. Move the floss around the tooth to clean every surface—especially those that your brush can’t reach. As you use a section of floss, unwind from one hand to access a clean piece. With 18 inches, you should have enough to deliver a clean piece for each tooth. If you run out, that’s okay. Just toss the used piece and cut a new segment.
5. Some people find it more straightforward to begin on one end of the upper teeth and clean each gap one by one until they reach the end on the opposite side and then repeat for the lower arch.

Schedule an Appointment to Improve Dental Health in Missoula

If you have never flossed before, your gums might bleed the first few times. The bleeding may be due to gum inflammation, the beginnings of gum disease. Keep flossing gently and the bleeding frequently stops within a week or two. If you’re interested in learning more about dental health in Missoula, call our office today to schedule an appointment. Well also tell you about our other dental services, such as dental implants, dental crowns, and laser dentistry.

Contact Felton Dental Care – Dr. Brett R. Felton, DMD:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

1750 Brooks St
Missoula, Montana

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