If you were stranded on a desert island…
If you were stranded on a desert island, and you had to choose between having a roll of floss or a toothbrush, which would you choose? It’s an interesting hypothetical that I remember debating back in dental school. Yes, we are nerds…but, it’s something I’ve thought about a lot recently. Why? Because my #1 rule for success as an orthodontic patient is to “keep your teeth clean.” And, I often get asked for tips about brushing and flossing.
Notice that I said “brushing and flossing.” They are both important (as you’ll soon see). But, for the sake of the hypothetical, if I had to choose floss or a toothbrush, I’d take floss!
Here is my rationale: with floss I can clean all sides of my teeth except for the biting surfaces AND I can keep my gums healthy so that I don’t develop gum disease. This can be done by wrapping the floss around the tooth like this:
A toothbrush would be able to clean the biting surfaces of your teeth (and some other surfaces too), but a toothbrush would NOT be able to clean the surfaces between the teeth. Those areas between the teeth are where gum disease develops; areas that can only be cleaned by flossing! If, on that desert island, you developed severe gum disease, you might lose your teeth, rendering that toothbrush of yours useless. Flossing all sides of your teeth (except for the biting surfaces) might take some time, but…remember, you are stranded on a desert island!