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Great oral hygiene is built on two principal tasks — daily brushing and flossing. Brushing removes plaque — a thin film of bacteria and food particles — from broad tooth surfaces. Flossing removes plaque between your teeth you can’t reach effectively with brushing. It takes both tasks to get the most disease prevention benefit from your daily cleaning.

Many people, though, have a hard time incorporating the latter of the two into their daily routine. This may be because manual flossing with string seems to require a bit more manual dexterity, although it can be mastered with proper training and practice. Some, though, may not possess the physical ability to adequately floss. It’s also difficult for individuals wearing orthodontic braces or other appliances that cover teeth.

Fortunately, there’s an alternative to string floss: oral irrigation. This method removes plaque from between teeth with pulsating water pressurized by either a handheld or countertop device known as an oral irrigator or water flosser, and emitted through a special nozzle directed at the teeth. Studies have shown it to be an effective means for controlling plaque.

As to you switching to a home water flosser, we’ll be happy to discuss if it’s a good option for you. We can also train you on effective techniques for string flossing if you don’t feel you’re doing it properly.

Whichever method you use, it’s important for you to floss daily to keep plaque under control between your teeth. Along with brushing and regular dental visits, it’s one of the best things you can do to ensure your teeth stay healthy and free of tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease.

If you would like more information on 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 Corley Family Dental
February 19, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Flossing  

Find out when your child should start incorporating flossing into their oral care routine.

Knowing how to properly care for your child’s smile is important to maintaining a healthy mouth for the rest of their lives. Of course, by the time they turn one or by the time their first tooth comes in, they should be seeing their Decatur, IL general dentists Drs. Chad and flossingNatalie Corley routinely (that means every six months). Of course, at-home care is just as important. Find out more about flossing and your little one.

When should my child start flossing?

You should start flossing your child’s teeth the minute their baby teeth start to come in. Baby teeth may not seem important since they will fall out eventually, but these teeth are necessary for developing speech at the proper time and to help chew food so that your little one gets the nutrients they need to grow up big and strong.

Once enough of your child’s teeth start to grow in next to each other (this usually happens anywhere from two to six years old), it’s important to start them on a flossing regime every day. Of course, you’ll want to floss their teeth for them until they develop the dexterity to do it by themselves (usually around 10 years old). If you are unsure how to start flossing your child’s teeth, you can always ask your family dentists in Decatur, IL for advice.

How do I teach my child to floss?

In the beginning, you may want to tie small loops on both ends of the floss so that your child can place their fingers in there to get a better grip. Then have them wrap the floss around their middle fingers and show them how to carefully glide the floss between each tooth using their thumb and index fingers. Make sure that they also carefully remove the floss from between the gums (they should next force or snap the floss upwards).

Once they get the floss between each tooth, they will want to wrap around the tooth and move the floss up and down along the side of the tooth, as well as get under the gum line. It may take some getting use to, but once your child starts to get the hang of it this habit will get much easier.

Do you have questions about your child’s flossing habits? Do you need to schedule your child’s next cleaning? We can do it all at Corley Family Dental in Decatur, IL. Schedule your little one’s next appointment with us.

By Corley Family Dental
August 27, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Flossing  

FlossingYou remember to brush your child's teeth every day, but do you help your child floss as well? While brushing is a great first step in helping your child take care of his or her teeth in between their general dentistry appointments at Corley Family Dental in Decatur, flossing is essential too. Here's why.

1. Flossing Helps You Reach the Hard-to-Reach Spaces

Brushing may be helpful at removing bacteria and food particles from the surface of the teeth, but no toothbrush can reach every crack and crevice. Flossing is essential for reaching the tiny spaces in between the teeth, where food particles and bacteria love to hide.

2. Flossing Helps Keep the Gums Healthy

Flossing doesn't just keep the teeth clean in between general dentistry visits to Corley Family Dental in Decatur, either. It also removes bacteria and food particles from the gum line as well. This not only results in a cleaner mouth, but it also offers better breath and a reduced risk of gum disease.

3. Early Flossing Helps Establish Good Habits for Life

Teach your child good oral hygiene habits from the time your child is little and he or she is much more likely to follow the same practices as he or she gets older. If flossing is routine from childhood on, you won't have to nag and pester once the teenage years roll around.

4. Your Child's Baby Teeth Act as Placeholders For Permanent Teeth

Just because your child is going to lose his or her current set of baby teeth does not mean that you don't have to take care of them. Baby teeth act as placeholders for permanent teeth and whether or not they are healthy can have a significant impact on your child's oral health even after his or her adult teeth come in.

Flossing your child's teeth may not be pleasant, but the good news is that it doesn't take long for it to become a habit. Get your child in the habit now and not only will it help your child now, but those same great oral hygiene practices are far more likely to carry into adulthood as well.

For additional tips and information on brushing and flossing, be sure to call Corley Family Dental in Decatur and speak to either Natalie A. Corley, DMD or Chad A. Corley, DMD. Both doctors would love to speak to you about any general dentistry concerns or questions you may have.

Childrens Dentistry DecaturMost of us moan and groan about flossing. Some even might say, “Isn’t brushing enough?” Fact—flossing is very important for the health of your teeth and gums. Fact two—brushing removes most of plaque bacteria and food debris, not all of it. While most adults understand the consequences of not flossing, it’s different for children. To your child, everything is new, which is why an early oral health education will be beneficial for him/her.

Start a Floss Routine Early On

Teach your child to floss early on. It doesn’t matter if your child still has his/her primary teeth—floss can help prevent tooth decay. Why does it matter if a primary tooth gets decay? Most think it’s not a big deal because children will lose the primary teeth, so their oral health and permanent teeth aren’t affected. Yes, a permanent tooth erupts once the primary tooth is gone, but your child’s primary teeth determine how the permanent teeth will erupt. If a primary tooth had decay, the damage caused by the infection can also affect the permanent tooth developing underneath it.
Once you notice your child’s primary teeth are coming together, begin to teach them how to use floss. Teeth start to develop and shift between the ages of two and six. That’s around the same time that children are learning to balance and develop their physical dexterity, so properly handling and using floss might be a problem. Just like you support your child as they take his/her first step, you need to monitor his/her first few years of oral hygiene practices. Give your child visual examples and guide them—children tend to mimic a parent’s actions.
You don’t want your child to think flossing is a chore—it should be part of their routine. In Decatur, childrens dentistry services are best provided by Drs. Chad and Natalie Corley at Corley Family Dental. At. Corley Family Dental, parents can receive great oral health information for their kid(s).

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