Articles on healthy teeth

Happy Teeth or Snappy Teeth: A List of Best & Worst Foods for Your Teeth

Dr. Ragini Parmar, Dentist
The world is full of these incredible deliciously mouthwatering foods, don’t you agree? Some are good for your mouth and some are terrible for oral hygiene. Let’s have a closer look at what makes your teeth happy and what makes them snappy.GOOD FOODS!Foods good for your mouth help prevent tooth decay and work towards destroying plaque buildup.Dairy ProductsMilk and other dairy products contain calcium and phosphates. Consumption of dairy products makes teeth stronger. Cheese is a saliva maker as well, which is important because saliva helps reduce the effect of acids and harmful enzymes.Fruits and VegetablesFruits and vegetables that are rich in fiber are also good for the mouth. They get saliva flowing and act as a detergent in the mouth, cleaning out unwanted bacteria. They are the best home remedy for prevention of tooth decay and cavities.Sugarless Chewing GumGum is a saliva maker and helps remove leftover food particles in the mouth. The lack of sugar in the gum is simply an added advantage for prevention of cavities. Also the chewing action helps develop facial muscles. This creates a good jaw line and tones the face helping get rid of double chins. Lots of actors use this trick to enhance their facial features. However, one must practice caution as too much gum is not the healthiest option.TeaGreen tea and black tea contain polyphenols, which are an organic chemical and considered as micronutrients in our diet. These destroy plaque and bacteria, and hence are an asset in the mouth. However, watch the quantity, as too much tea could stain your teeth too.Fluoride FoodsAny kind of food with fluoride helps your teeth. Dehydrated soups, powdered juices, powdered cereals, commercially prepared poultry products and even sea food - all contain fluoride.BAD FOODS!Foods bad for the teeth are easy to spot as they encourage tooth decay and plaque buildup.Carbonated DrinksOther than the obvious high sugar content carbonated drinks contain phosphoric and citric acid both of which wear down tooth enamel.Dry Mouth FoodsAlcohol dries out the mouth which means there is less saliva and hence a weaker fight against bacteria. Some medicines dry the mouth too. A fluoride rinse for your mouth will help.StarchFoods that have high starch composition like tapioca,potato chips or soft breads are to be avoided as they get lodged between the tiny gaps in teeth and are hard to take out.SweetsWhen opting for sweets, go for those that don’t stick to your teeth and are easy to wash off. You can opt for cacao, which has proven to have some health benefits.Choosing the right kinds of food is important as it helps promote oral health. You should choose food that encourage production of saliva, as saliva keeps the teeth moist. So be careful what you eat, because everything you put in your mouth has numerous consequences. Each time you are up in the middle of the night and find yourself starving be mindful and choose the food that offers you a health benefit.

5 Hidden Consequences of Losing Teeth

Dr. Shefali Gupta, Dentist
Teeth play an important role to look attractive and  in overall nutrition and general health. Teeth allow you to follow a healthy diet and stay well nourished by preparing the food you eat for swallowing and digestion.However loss of teeth can have several hidden consequences-ON GENERAL HEALTH-The nutrition of elderly people is of growing interest to many health professionals.Missing teeth results in limited food choices.  Thus, nutritional changes begin to cause medical problems and affect your general well being.Even after the loss of one tooth, the jaw bone irreversibly changes. Without chewing pressure to stimulate the bone it begins to dissolve away immediately after extraction and continues forever unless any prosthesis is placed.FACIAL COSMETIC PROBLEMS-The deterioration of the jaw bones affects the appearance of how the face “drapes”over the bone. Facial sagging makes you look older, which is due to shrinkage in the upper and lower jaw bones further it may  cause profound emotional effects on individual.TOOTH DRIFTING AND DESTRUCTION OT THE REMAINING TEETH-When all the teeth are present they support each other much like the bricks in a roman archway.When some teeth are missing, the opposite teeth have no “counter acting force” and will erupt upward into the mouth. When no back teeth are touching the stress is now placed on the front teeth, this ‘overloads’ them and forces them to move forward and outward. When back molars are missing the damage is even more serious.The back chewing teeth begin to erupt down into the empty spaces where the lower molar teeth are missing. The chewing forces have shifted to the front teeth and due to overloaded stress the front teeth begin to flare and fan apart creating spaces.The fanning and spaces get worse over a period of time. This ‘’fanning out’’ and ‘’opening of the front spaces’’ eventually leads to looseness and gum disease and the loss of the front teeth.Even a single missing teeth can lead to drift (this is just like taking a brick out of an arch way and seeing the arch collapse). That one missing tooth can set you up for a “domino effect” of losing teeth for the rest of your life. Gum disease due to the movement and misalignment of the teeth can cause more tooth loss and decay.HEADACHE FROM MISSING TEETH-Without the support of back chewing teeth, as the teeth randomly drift, unusual dental bites develop that cause excessive stress and damage to the joints (TMJ) that connect the two jaw bones with pain and headaches being a common side effect.CHANGES IN SPEECH-Speech is a very sophisticated autonomous, and unconscious activity.They are intimately related as the mouth, lower jaw, lips,teeth and tongue are used for both activities. Any alteration of these structures will inevitably mediate a disturbance in the system.NEED TO REPLACE LOST TEETH-Earlier we see the various consequence due to loss of teeth, it affects the patients in many aspects. So it is necessary to have artificial replacements for the natural teeth becausethe body cannot function properly if some of the important organ involved in speech, swallowing and mastication are lost. Common approaches to replacing a lost tooth are the dental implants, fixed partial dentures, removable partial dentures. The most appropriate for you will depend on a variety of factors that you should discuss with your dentist.

Q&A: Helping Children Who Grind Their Teeth

Dr. Ishwari Bhirud, Dentist
Q: My child, age 3, grinds his teeth at night. What can we do to prevent him from doing this? What is this doing to his teeth?A: Grinding teeth, or bruxism, is surprisingly common in children. Nearly one in three children does it at some point, nearly always during sleep.Nobody knows the cause. There are theories, including teeth not fitting together properly (malocclusion), a problem with the joint of the jaw (temporomandibular joint), anxiety or just habit. The cause may be different in different children.Luckily, children usually stop by themselves—and there is usually no damage to the teeth. If they grind hard enough for long enough it can wear down the teeth and increase the risk of infections, but this is uncommon.It’s important, for all sorts of reasons, that you take your child to the dentist regularly. The next time you do, mention your concerns about teeth grinding. If the dentist sees more than the average wear and tear, he or she may prescribe a mouth guard. It’s most likely, though, that nothing will need to be done.Because bruxism can be associated with stress, be on the lookout for any changes in your child's behavior—and think about whether anything in his life may be worrying or upsetting him (like a new school, new sibling, conflict between parents) and whether there is anything you can do about it. If your child has been having changes in his behavior, and if your efforts to help him aren't making a difference, talk to your pediatrician.

Wisdom teeth- The Problems & Their Solutions

Dr. Prasanth Pillai, Dentist
What are impacted wisdom teeth?Wisdom teeth are molar teeth, which are the last to erupt into the mouth, usually after the age of 15 years, or even much later. They are four in number – one each situated in the four corners of the mouth, behind the second molar teeth and have no clearly defined shape or form unlike the other permanent teeth. They are often called wisdom teeth as they erupt at an age when the person is in the transition phase from childhood to adulthood. The remaining 28 teeth normally erupt into the oral cavity by the age of 13 years.Wisdom teeth are considered impacted when they are unable to erupt into their normal functional positions, mainly due to lack of space for their eruption. Approximately 20% of the population has impacted wisdom teeth. Less than 5% of the population has sufficient room to accommodate the wisdom teeth. Of the other permanent teeth in normal individuals, very few are found impacted except the canines.What are the causes for impaction of wisdom teeth?It has been found that during the process of evolution, the jaws are progressively becoming smaller in size and the braincase is expanding at the expense of the jaws. This is said to occur because with the passage of time, man is increasingly using his brain whereas the use of the jaws for chewing has been progressively on the decline, as the diet we are having has become refined and soft. Hence the chewing efficiency of the jaws is not put to full use. Masticatory force (force exerted while chewing) has been found to be contributory to jaw growth. Soft diet thus adversely affects jaw growth. An underdeveloped jaw will not be able to accommodate all 32 teeth. This reduces the space for the wisdom teeth, which erupt last, to erupt into place. Evolutionary trends also point to a gradual reduction in the number of teeth, though this may occur only over a considerable period of time.Another important factor, which predisposes to development of impacted wisdom teeth, is heredity. It has been found that parents who have impacted wisdom teeth are likely to pass on the trait to children. However, this may only be a very small part of the evolutionary design.Certain disease conditions such as rickets, endocrine dysfunction, anemia, achondroplasia, cleidocranial dysostosis, Treacher Collins syndrome etc. have also found to be associated with impacted teeth. Here, impactions of teeth other than that of the wisdom teeth are also found frequently.What are the problems associated with impacted wisdom teeth?Infection is the most common problem encountered associated with impacted teeth. It may range from a localized gum infection to acute, extensive, life-threatening infections involving the head and neck. Localized gum infections tend to recur intermittently when complete eruption of the tooth is not possible. Recurrent infections (which may be subacute and not painful for the patient) will frequently lead to gum disease and decay on adjacent teeth, which can ultimately result in the loss of these teeth in addition to the wisdom teeth.Sometimes wisdom teeth erupt in abnormal positions and angulations making them non-functional, as they are unable to contact their corresponding opposing wisdom teeth. In such situations, frequent cheek biting or tongue biting can result from the abnormal positioning causing injuries to the cheeks and tongue while chewing. Besides this, the unsupported upper wisdom tooth also starts over-erupting, lengthening out from the supporting gums, thereby leading to food trapping, decay and gum infections in the region.There are situations when the wisdom teeth do not erupt at all into the mouth. They lie buried within the gum tissue or bone. Often, patients do not experience problems in such situations. There are also instances where wisdom teeth are totally absent in certain individuals.What can happen if impacted wisdom teeth are not treated?Serious problems can develop from partially blocked teeth such as infection, which may turn life threatening and possible crowding of, and damage to adjacent teeth and bone. Another serious complication can develop when the sac that surrounds the impacted tooth fills with fluid and enlarges to form a cyst causing an enlargement that hollows out the jaw and results in permanent damage to the adjacent teeth, jawbone and nerves. Left untreated, a tumor may develop from the walls of these cysts and a more complicated surgical procedure would be required for removal.Rare instances have been found when the impacted wisdom teeth remain asymptomatic without causing any problems. However, no prediction can be made as to when an impacted molar will cause trouble, but trouble will probably arise, and that too at inconvenient times. When it does, the circumstances can be much more painful and the teeth can be more complicated to treat. Here, the tooth cannot be removed until the infection or other complications have been treated. This means loss of more time and added expense along with some added risk. It's best to have impacted teeth removed before trouble begins.How are impacted wisdom teeth treated?X-rays of the wisdom teeth are made to help assess the positions, shapes and sizes of the crowns and roots, the surrounding bone and the nerve, which usually runs below the roots of the teeth. X-rays also help in identification of associated disease conditions such as cysts and tumors in relation to the teeth, apart from aiding in planning of the surgical procedure.In certain cases of impacted teeth, where there seems to be adequate space available for eruption, the dental surgeon may advise a pericoronal flap excision (removal of the gum tissue overlying the impacted tooth) and observation. In such cases, the tooth may erupt into place after the procedure. However, in many cases, infection of the overlying gum tissue has been found to recur. Here, there is no other choice other than the removal of the offending wisdom tooth.In light of the clinical experience that most impacted teeth will ultimately give rise to some type of problem or disease, it is generally felt that preventive removal of impacted third molars is indicated. Because complications are significantly reduced when the impacted tooth has no associated disease conditions, and because difficulty of removal increases with age, it is recommended that impacted teeth be removed early. It is best done as soon as it becomes apparent that there is insufficient space or that they are not positioned for normal eruption. Generally, this will occur somewhere between the ages of 16-18. At this age, the roots of the developing tooth are usually between one half to two thirds formed and the bone is less dense, which makes their removal easier and the post-operative recovery smoother. A young patient usually is also in optimal general health, which facilitates safe anesthesia and rapid, complete healing. In older patients, removal before complications develop is key to shorter recovery and shorter healing time, besides minimizing discomfort after surgery.Before the removal of the impacted wisdom tooth, the patient is normally put on a course of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs to eliminate existing infection and inflammation in the area. The removal of an impacted tooth is normally a minor surgical operation, lasting 10 - 45 minutes. It often requires incision of the gum, cutting the tooth and probably some removal of bone too. The oral surgeon may provide anesthesia options of local anesthesia, intravenous sedation, or general anesthesia to make the procedure more relaxing for the patient. The surgical wound is often sutured with silk (non-absorbable) or with absorbable suture materials. Some surgeons advise extraction of the corresponding upper wisdom teeth also during the same sitting.When taken up under local anesthesia (LA), removal of impacted teeth is done on one side at a time. This allows a patient to chew on the other side, facilitates faster healing and recovery. In certain situations, impacted wisdom teeth on both sides are removed under general anesthesia (GA) as a single procedure. If the impacted teeth are very deeply situated, or if they have abnormal shapes and forms making the procedure difficult to undertake, GA may again be required for surgical removal. If the surgical procedure is found to be complex, then the dental surgeon may refer the patient to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, who is trained in surgical treatment of such problems.After the surgery, the patient is asked to continue the antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs which should be meticulously taken by the patient without break in order to facilitate better wound healing without complications. The patient is given pressure packs to bite on over the surgical area and ice packs to be placed over the jaw, immediate post-operatively. The patient is advised to rinse the mouth with ice-cold water about half an hour after the procedure, after the gauze/cotton pressure dressings in the area are removed. After 12 hours have elapsed, the patient may start having warm foodstuffs. However, it would be ideal if the patient has semi-solid or liquid food (yogurt, eggs, fruit juice, milkshakes, protein supplements etc.) for about a day or two after the surgery, after which he/she may have normal food, without disturbing the surgical area. The patient should also abstain from smoking and drinking during the post-surgical phase, to facilitate better healing and to avoid complications. The patient may also rinse the mouth with luke-warm saline twice or thrice a day after the 24-hour period.

Tips For "Healthy Teeth For Life"!

Dr. Gauri Mulay Arbatti, Dentist
Taking care of your teeth is important to help avoid decay and gum disease. Attention to gum disease is important for your general health too as mentioned in the earlier article.There are four basic steps to taking care of teeth and gums:BrushingFlossingBalanced diet/ Eating properlyVisiting the dentistTips for brushing:Brush at least twice a day. Brushing removes plaque, a film of bacteria that clings to teeth. When bacteria in plaque come into contact with food, they produce acids. These acids lead to cavities. To brush:Place a pea-sized dab of toothpaste on the head of the toothbrush.Place the toothbrush against the teeth at a 45-degree angle to the gum line.Move the brush across the teeth using a small circular or vertical motion. ( never brush in horizontal motion.) Continue with this manner cleaning one to two teeth at a time. Keep the tips of the bristles against the gum line. Avoid pressing too hard that the bristles lie flat against the teeth. (Only the tips of the toothbrush clean the teeth.) Let the bristles reach into spaces between teeth.Brush across the top of the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Make sure the bristles get into the grooves and crevices.Use the same small circular motion to clean the back of the upper and lower teeth, the side that faces the tongue.To clean the inside of the lower front teeth, angle the head in an up-and-down position toward the bottom inside of the mouth and move the toothbrush in a small circle.For the inside of the top front teeth, angle the brush in an up-and-down position with the tip of the head pointing towards the roof of the mouth. Move the toothbrush in a small circle.Give your tongue a few gentle brush strokes, brushing from the back of your tongue forward. Do not scrub. This helps remove bacteria and freshens your breath.After brushing your teeth, rinse your mouth with water.Replace your toothbrush with a new one every three to four months.Tips for flossing:Floss once a day. Flossing gets rid of food and plaque between the teeth, where your toothbrush cannot reach. If plaque stays between teeth, it can harden into tartar, which must be removed by a dentist. To floss:Remove about a 45 cm (18-inch) strip of floss from the dispenserWind the floss around the index fingers of each hand, leaving a 2.5cm (one inch) section open for flossingPlace the floss in your mouth and use your index fingers to push the floss between the teeth. Be careful not to push too hard and injure the gumsMove the floss up and down against the tooth and up and around the gum line. The floss should form a C-shape around the tooth as you flossFloss between each tooth as well as behind the back teethUse a clean section of floss as neededTips for balanced diet / eating properly:Eat a variety of foods but eat fewer foods that contain sugars and starches. These foods produce the most acids in the mouth and the longer they stay in the mouth, the more they can damage the teeth. Snacking on sugary foods can lead to tooth decay because most people don't brush after snacks. Starchy snack foods, like crisps, stick to the teeth. Avoid snacking on:Sweets, biscuits, cakes and piesCaramel containing chocolatesCrackers, bread-sticks and crispsDried fruit and raisinsDental check-ups:Visit your dentist as advised. To maintain healthy teeth and gums, it's important to have regular check-ups and professional cleaning (i.e Scaling and Polishing). You should also see your dentist if you have pain in your teeth or bleeding, swollen gums etc.You can also ask your dentist about dental sealants. Sealant is a material used to coat the top, chewing surfaces of the teeth. This coating protects the tooth from decay and usually lasts a long time. It is a preventive treatment. Fluoride treatment is another preventive and useful treatment for patients having high decay rate. Thank you! Have a healthy mouth!

Healthy Teeth, Healthy Heart???

Dr. Priyanka Sehgal, Dentist
Do healthy gums mean a healthy heart?There’s no question that regular brushing, flossing and dental checkups can keep your mouth healthy. But if you fall short on your hygiene routine, can gum disease actually causeheart disease?There’s no conclusive evidence that preventing gum disease — periodontitis — can prevent heart disease or that treating gum disease can lessen atherosclerosis, the buildup of artery-clogging plaque that can result in a heart attack or stroke, according to an American Heart Association statement.“The mouth can be a good warning signpost,” said Ann Bolger, M.D., William Watt Kerr Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. “People with periodontitis often haverisk factors that not only put their mouth at risk, but their heart and blood vessels, too. But whether one causes the other has not actually been shown.”Periodontal Disease and Cardiovascular ConditionsPeriodontal disease can affect your overall health. Over time, it may increase the risk for heart disease and stroke. Several studies have shown that people with periodontal disease may be more likely to have coronary artery disease than people with healthy mouths.Right now, scientists have two possible explanations for this association. One is that the bacteria that cause periodontal disease can release toxins into or travel through the bloodstream and help to form fatty plaques in the arteries. These plaque deposits can lead to serious problems, such as blood clots, which can block blood flow.The other explanation is that these bacteria cause the liver to make high levels of certain proteins, which inflame the blood vessels. Inflammation eventually could lead to a heart attack or stroke.Symptoms of periodontal disease include:Persistent bad breathRed, swollen or tender gumsGums that bleed when you brush your teethGums that have pulled away from the teethLoose teethA change in the way your teeth come together when you bite downIf you have symptoms of periodontal disease, see your dentist soon for treatment.

3 Simple Secrets for Healthy Teeth

Dr. Prathamesh S. Joshi, Dentist
“Why do I get cavities when I brush twice a day?” This thought is likely to have crossed your mind every time you have to visit the dentist for tooth decay. The answer is that brushing alone is simply not enough. Tooth decay occurs when bacteria multiply in areas where food has accumulated in the mouth. This produces acids which then corrode the teeth, leading to cavities. Around 12 hours pass between your morning and bedtime brushing routine, and that provides ample time for bacteria to multiply. Therefore other methods are necessary to help you to keep your teeth decay free. These three steps are very simple as:1.Brush:  First and foremost, brush your teeth twice daily; in the morning after you wake up and also before going to bed. It is recommended that you use toothbrush and toothpaste only. Substances like tooth powder (both brown and white) or mishry (sugar candy) are not recommended to clean teeth. These may cause more harm than good – they may be too abrasive and wear out the teeth or will accumulate between your teeth and become perfect breeding grounds for microbes. Similarly Use normal fluoridated toothpaste only. 2. Swish:  Swishing is a lot like gargling, and not at all difficult to do. Remember to swish after every meal.  Take a sip of water and close your mouth. Make sure that your upper and lower rows of teeth touch. Your mouth now forms two“compartments” - the inner compartment behind your teeth, the other smaller one between your lips and teeth. The water you sipped is in the inner compartment behind your teeth. Now, move your cheeks and tongue to “push” the water outwards, keeping your lips closed. The water will pass through the gaps between the teeth and it will clean the hard-to-reach corners. This prevents the formation of deposits called plaque, which cause tooth decay. Then Suck the water in the outer compartment in. This flushing action should be repeated 3 times atlas. 3. Floss: Flossing is one of the simplest but the most neglected techniques.  Dental floss looks like a little piece of coated string. It is used to clean out the tiny gaps between teeth, which are quite hard to reach, even with a tooth brush. It helps prevent plaque accumulation and deposits. Floss regularly, at least once every day. The floss that comes with a little handle is very easy to use, and is disposable. If you have large gaps between teeth, use inter-dental brush regularly. These three steps along with a regular dental check up every 6 months can keep your teeth clean and healthy.

Best Food for Healthy Teeth

Dr. Swasti Jain, Dentist
When it comes to the health of your teeth, you really are what you eat. Sugary foods, such as candy and soda, contribute to tooth decay. One of the first areas to decline when your diet is less than ideal is your oral healthCarrotsLike apples, carrots are crunchy and full of fiber. Eating a handful of raw carrots at the end of the meal increases saliva production in your mouth, which reduces your risk of cavities. Along with being high in fiber, carrots are a great source of vitamin A. Top a salad with a few slices of raw carrots, or enjoy some baby carrots on their own.CeleryCelery might get a bad reputation for being bland, watery and full of those pesky strings, but like carrots and apples, it acts a bit like a toothbrush, scraping food particles and bacteria away from your teeth. It's also a good source of vitamins A and C, two antioxidants that give the health of your gums a boost. Make celery even tastier by topping it with cream cheese.CheeseIf you're one of the many people who profess a love of cheese, you now have another reason to enjoy this tasty food. It is found that eating cheese raised the pH in the subjects' mouths and lowered their risk of tooth decay. It's thought that the chewing required to eat cheese increases saliva in the mouth. Cheese also contains calcium and protein, nutrients that strengthen tooth enamel.YogurtLike cheese, yogurt is high in calcium and protein, which makes it a good pick for the strength and health of your teeth. The probiotics , or beneficial bacteria, found in yogurt also benefit your gums because the good bacteria crowd out bacteria that cause cavities. If you decide to add more yogurt to your diet, choose a plain variety with no added sugar.AlmondsAlmonds are great for your teeth because they are a good source of calcium and protein while being low in sugar. Enjoy a quarter cup of almonds with your lunch. You can also add a handful to a salad or to a stir-fry dinner.Leafy GreensLeafy greens typically find their way onto any healthy foods list. They're full of vitamins and minerals while being low in calories. Leafy greens such as kale and spinach also promote oral health. They're high in calcium, which builds your teeth's enamel.Apples Fruits, such as apples, might be sweet, but they're also high in fiber and water. The action of eating an apple produces saliva in your mouth, which rinses away bacteria and food particles. The fibrous texture of the fruit also stimulates the gums. 

Healthier Teeth: Well, With Some Strings Attached

Dr. Bianca Nazareth Arya, Dentist
At the end of every scaling ( cleaning appointment) we usually take out time to talk to the patient about oral hygiene. Ask about their technique - correct it - recommend stuff etc.The one question we invariably get is - DO I NEED TO FLOSS? (We shall not even go into the 'Floss? What's floss?' category of patients.)Contradictory to the answer we give when the patient asks about using mouthwashes (which is it varies patient to patient) - the answer to this question is YES YES and YES.If you can and are willing - Do IT.Why you ask?Well, lets just take an example to understand this.You have a bed at home. You clean on top of it. You clean the sides of it. However the bed is rather low and you cannot get under the bed and hence the underside is left as it is. Now being good quality wood and all - maybe it may never really get ruined. But suppose there was a leak - water got into the room and under the bed as well. Now don't you want to move that bed so that you can dry the floor beneath? Better still, don't you empty it out and take it outside perhaps so that you could dry the underside of the bed itself? Of course you would - given that you don't want fungus growing out the bed. Now our teeth have 5 sides as well - and though with meticulous brushing we can clean 3 of them - 2 sides are like the underside of the bed. While nothing much accumulates there most days - there is always the risk. It would be lovely to get those teeth out - wash them in the sink and put them back. But since that isn't happening anytime soon ( unless of course you prefer dentures) - we have to make do with what is available to clean out those surfaces.Food does get stuck between teeth - even if its not a big chunk - it will be a thin almost transparent layer. Moreover when we are young contacts between teeth are tighter. As we age teeth start collecting more and more food particles making flossing all the more essential. Yes it is inconvenient (But you get used to it)Yes it is time consuming (But you get faster with regular use)Yes it involves putting your fingers in the mouth (But you can always use those floss handles)But given that it decreases your trips to the dentist - what more motivation could you possibly want?There are a zillion different types out there - choose any one based on your convenience and budget.Use it everyday, once a day.Ask your dentist for a demonstration of the correct technique.