The art of communication doesn't always have to be verbal. Nods, winks and hand gestures often foot the bill. But there's no silent form of communication quite like a friendly smile. Your smile won't make others continue to feel all warm and fuzzy unless you diligently take care of your teeth. One of the most valuable tools in the oral care shed is floss. One form of floss is dental tape.
Flossing plays a critical role in maintaining mouth health by removing food particles that get trapped between teeth in spots a toothbrush can't reach, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). It also rids teeth of bacteria that, if not removed, will harden into plaque. Plaque then calcifies into tartar that can only be removed by a dental hygienist. Another flossing benefit is a reduction in gum disease and tooth decay development.
Having good intentions for taking care of your teeth doesn't amount to much if you don't floss correctly. For starters, tear off about 18 inches of floss. Then wrap most of it around both index fingers while allowing an inch or two for the actual flossing. With your thumb and index finger, pull it tightly while you ease it between each tooth in an up-and-down motion. Then curve the floss around each tooth's base; don't forget beneath the gumline. As you work your way between teeth, unwrap and rewrap the floss, because you must use a clean section for each tooth. Gently ease the floss out from between each tooth in the same manner as when you started.
Floss, waxed or un-waxed, isn't the only way to clean between teeth. The ADA lists alternatives that include dental picks, water flossers, wooden plaque removers, pre-threaded flossers and tiny brushes. If the flexible strand flossing method appeals to you but the material doesn't, dental tape is another possibility that functions the same way.
Dental Tape Benefits
Some folks opt for dental tape as opposed to traditional floss because it's easier to grip and it is wider, notes the Canadian Dental Association. Made from nylon, dental tape is a flat, wide ribbon available in waxed or un-waxed, says The Huffington Post. It's also thinner than standard floss so many people find it easier to get between their teeth. People who have wide spaces between teeth might be partial to it as well since the ample tape allows for broader surface area coverage and a more thorough cleaning. And those who have had bridgework in their mouths might also opt for tape, according to Delta Dental Insurance.
In addition to daily flossing, be sure to brush at least two times per day. Using a hydrated silica toothpaste, such as Colgate Total Advanced Deep Clean toothpaste, which helps maintain a dentist-clean feeling with advanced-cleaning silica similar to what dentists use. And remember to schedule regular dental checkups too.