I am proud to say that I have all my own teeth at the age of 65. While that may not sound unusual to some people, everyone in my family who is my age or older wears dentures. I always tell people that that flossing is the key to good dental health. I have arthritis in my hands, but I don't let it keep me from flossing every day. My trick is to use those little "flossers" you can buy at the drug store. They have plastic handles floss stretched out on top of the handle. These make flossing easier on days when my arthritis is acting up. I started this blog to let other people know that they can keep their teeth healthy into old age when they take care of them. If you have hand pain, find ways to make flossing easier, like I did.
If you're committed to maintaining your oral hygiene or just want a way to get debris out from between your teeth no matter where you are, this guide can help. While ideally you should be able to brush and floss your teeth, sometimes it's not so easy if you don't have a water source. Here is how you can keep your gums healthy and why you shouldn't just carry floss with you.
Why Flossing Is A No-No Without Water
Floss is sold in portable containers, so it may seem like second nature to carry a container of floss with you. While this is a good idea, if you don't have any running water available, don't try traditional flossing.
If your hands aren't clean, you can potentially introduce all kinds of nasty bacteria into your mouth. The floss that you pinch between your fingers will slide under your gums and between your teeth, introducing bacteria that should never be in your mouth. If you have unhealthy gums or any wounds inside your mouth, this could cause an infection or even start you down the path of gum disease. In general, if you can't wash your hands, don't try and floss your teeth with normal dental floss.
One portable option that doesn't come with the risk of introducing bacteria into your mouth is a floss pick. Floss picks allow you the convenience of dental floss held on a stick that you can slide between your teeth. Your hand will never have to reach into your mouth or touch the floss, meaning your oral hygiene won't become worse.
Another good option is to carry a micro toothbrush with you. Brushing your teeth without toothpaste may not have the refreshing feeling that toothpaste can bring, but it will help to remove plaque and bacteria. Some experts even believe that dry brushing may be superior to using toothpaste when it comes to removing plaque.
One easy option is to carry a small vial of mouthwash with you. The travel size containers sold at most stores can fit easily into bags and purses, and you can even take them through airport security. After using your floss pick and dry brushing your teeth, use your mouthwash to flush away any remaining debris from between your teeth and to kill germs that can cause plaque to develop on your teeth.
Ideally, you'll never be away from clean, flowing water, and you can perform all of your normal dental hygiene steps. However, carrying these three small and simple tools can potentially keep your mouth in tip-top shape even when you can't rely on your usual habits.
For more information, talk to a professional like Kenneth Schweizer DDS PA.