Why do I need to floss?

As a practicing dentist in Eagan, MN seeing significant improvement in my patient’s oral hygiene habits is the most rewarding part of my job. Good oral hygiene can save individuals thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars over their lifetime. So, what are people doing to get such positive changes?

You must mechanically clean all surfaces of your teeth!

Imagine that we live in a world where toothpaste didn’t exist. Would that be a significant problem? Not necessarily. Throughout the day we collect debris and bacteria on our teeth. When it is not yet hardened to the tooth, we call this build-up plaque. After some time, this plaque hardens and forms calculus on our teeth. Our job is to physically remove the plaque on all surfaces of our teeth. Though toothpaste provides a fresh feeling in our mouth, it is not necessary to remove the debris on your teeth.

A Minnesota Analogy…

During a Minnesota winter, we have ample opportunities to remove snow and ice from our car windshields. Effective snow/ice removal is not much different than good hygiene habits around a tooth. The toothbrush is great from removing plaque on the front and back of the teeth. Floss is great at removing plaque and debris from the sides of our teeth. If we look at how we remove snow/ice from the side windshields of our vehicles, you notice you need to be in good contact with the window to remove the snow or ice. With floss, your goal is to go through your contact and hold the floss against the side of each tooth gently bring it below the gum tissue to remove the debris that has collected throughout the day. Just like scraping your car windshield, you want to adapt the floss to the tooth for effective removal.

Your Gum Tissue Responds FAST!

Our gum tissue is one of the fasting healing tissues in our bodies. When we effectively clean our teeth, the health of our gum tissue responds extremely well. You will notice less bleeding when you floss, along with less discomfort. Good oral hygiene is a very inexpensive way to dramatically improve your oral health!

The Routine

Healthy living is all about forming good habits. Habits are things we do that take little effort or mental energy to accomplish. After a few short weeks, this new habit will become your baseline and your mouth will be forever thankful for the change!

  • In the morning brush your teeth after breakfast for two minutes
  • In the evening, Floss all your teeth with good adaption to the surfaces between teeth. Then brush for 2 minutes. Once complete only allow water to contact your teeth before going to bed.

This is a basic plan that most people should be doing. At Denmark Dental we customize home care plans for each patient. We recommend specific toothpaste, extra tools beyond floss to clean teeth, and mouth wash when necessary.

We Get it!

Our goal is not to make you feel like we are lecturing you, but to be a coach that guides you to better routines. In today’s world, good hygiene habits can save your teeth for your lifetime, and good flossing habits are as important as good brushing habits, but it must be effective flossing!

It’s All for You!

I have three goals for the individuals I see at my practice in Eagan, MN.

  • You are pain-free
  • You can eat the foods you want to eat
  • You are happy with how your teeth look

The most effective way for me to accomplish those three goals is to help you develop effective strategies to mechanically clean your teeth. Its all about habits, its all for you, and nothing gives me more satisfaction as a dentist than seeing someone dramatically improve their oral health from one appointment to another.

Brandon Helgeson DDS