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tooth brush

Dental Questions: Why do my teeth shred floss?

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Dental Questions: Why do my teeth shred floss?

thousandoaksfamilydentistry.com

Shredding or tearing floss is a common (and annoying) obstacle to keeping your teeth clean. Having to constantly switch to a new piece or use a frayed length of floss gets old fast. What could be causing your flossing woes? Take a look!

Between every two adjacent teeth exists a contact where they touch each other at their widest points. This space should be smooth and flowing, without any ridges or sharp corners. If you are shredding floss, there must be some sort of edge in this area that is disrupting the floss fibers. Many times, this is the result of a filling placed between two teeth that needs to be smoothed out. Small pieces of excess filling material, called flash can become dislodged and create an edge that tears at the floss fibers. The solution to this problem is to have a dentist smooth out or (in more drastic situations) replace the filling, creating a more anatomically correct shape. 

Floss can also shred due to food, tartar, or other debris lodged in between teeth. Tartar, in particular, is rough and irregular, creating a surface that easily tears at floss fibers. The solution to this problem is to have a dentist clean the affected teeth, and return for normal dental hygiene appointments. When combined with regular cleanings, good flossing technique will remove stuck food and prevent the formation of harmful tartar in the future. 

Flossing every day is one of the easiest and most beneficial additions to your home hygiene routine. Even if your teeth shred floss, we urge you to continue to use it daily to help maintain the health of your gums and bones. If you would like to know more about flossing, brushing, oral health or any other dental topics, please give our office a call!

 

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Replace That Toothbrush!

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Replace That Toothbrush!

thousandoaksfamilydentistry.com

Is your brush looking a little frayed? Its probably time to grab a new one! The ADA recommends replacing toothbrushes (or electric brush heads) every three to four months. Older brushes lose their ability to reach the fine areas of your mouth and harbor potentially harmful bacteria. If your brushes are wearing out sooner than the three month mark, it could be a sign of using too much pressure while brushing. Children's brushes will likely need more frequent replacement and should be monitored closely. 

We always recommend using a toothbrush with soft or extra soft bristles and a small head. Brushes with stiff bristles can actually do more damage than good and large heads make it difficult to navigate the narrow spaces in the back of the mouth. Also make sure you're pairing your new toothbrush with a fluoride toothpaste. Finally, if you plan on switching to a electric brush, make sure it has a pressure sensor and built in timer, along with readily available replacement heads. If you have any further questions about toothbrushes, oral hygiene or taking care of your teeth, please feel free to contact our office!

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