Floss Preferences

Floss: Wax On or Wax Off?

The first step to establishing proper dental care techniques is finding products that fit every personal need and preference. For example, do you prefer hand held toothbrushes versus electric, or do you prefer floss that is coated with wax versus no coating?  To help patients make these decisions, it is best to have an understanding of which is most effective.  I know our Drs.Versman, Heller, and Beckman here at Periodontal Associates hopes you brush and floss no matter what types or brands of equipment you are using, but a new study did reveal if waxed or un-waxed dental floss is preferred.

The study was developed in order to challenge a prior study that was published in the Journal of Periodontology back in 1990.  To best understand which form of floss is superior, we must not only discover which is most effective in the view of dentists but we must also find what consumers prefer.

So, what do Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman suggest?  Based on their experience as well as other clinical studies, Periodontal Associates agree that there is no statistical difference or clinical significance. Simply, the best floss is the one that is being used. Even with free floss or floss sticks, Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman have no preference.  If you do have any concern, feel free to ask at your next hygiene appointment, and we can guide you based on your individual needs.

What is the most popular choice made by patients? Dr. Robert H. Beaumont asked 100 patients which one they preferred.  He gave every patients unmarked floss with instructions for use between two front teeth as well as two back teeth.  He then gave another sample of floss, again unmarked, with repeated instructions.  To make sure there was no bias, half the patients started with wax while the other half started with no wax floss.

After both flosses were used, Beaumont simple asked each patient which sample they liked most.  “All had an immediate and clear floss preference after performing the test.” The conclusion: 79 percent preferred waxed floss, leaving 21% preferring non-waxed floss.  This may be true for our Denver, CO patients, too.

Why is this so?  “The most frequent objection to waxed floss was related to a feeling of ‘thickness’, not a specific objection of difficulty in use. Unwaxed was described as ‘thinner’ and when preferred was most often selected for that reason,” stated Beaumont after questioning each patient on why they made their decisions as they did.

Where do you stand? How do you floss, where do you floss, and when do you floss?Drs.Versman, Heller, and Beckman would say it is best to floss daily as gum disease is caused by bacteria that grow on the teeth at the edges of and underneath the gums, and flossing, along with periodontal care appointments, will help remove the bacteria around the teeth, preventing periodontal disease.

How to floss:

  1. Take 12-16 inches (30-40cm) of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5cm) of floss between the hands.
  2. Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion.
  3. Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gum line. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.

Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.

For further information, please call and schedule a consultation with Drs. Versman,Heller, or Beckman today, or please stop in for a periodontal care hygiene appointment where our hygienists are specially trained to treat patients with gum disease as well as prevent the onset of gum disease. We can be reached by phone at (303) 755-4500 or please click here for an appointment. We serve patients of all ages throughout the Denver metro area, and we will look forward to meeting you.

Guitar Floss

String your Guitar… with Floss?

Floss… we all get some after our visit to see Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman, but how many people use it for flossing teeth? Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gum line. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.

Periodontal Associates hopes you continue this good habit of flossing; however, it can be fun to think of other ways to utilize this great tool.  Ewan Dobson is a guitarist who plays with a guitar only strung with floss.  In this video on Youtube, he gives a visual of how he uses the floss, and then he continues to play a fantastic piece.

If you are a guitarist, let us know what you think about this make-shift string. Also, if you are in need of a back-up container of floss, just stop by Periodontal Associates for your next hygiene appointment and we will always send you home with a goodie bag!

For more information about everything Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman have to offer, like dental implants and gum disease treatment, visit our website at www.periodontalhealth.com or call us at (303) 755-4500. We are conveniently located in Aurora, CO and serve patients all over the Denver metro area.  We cannot wait to see you!  And next time, feel free to bring your floss strung guitar and play us a tune!

How To Prevent Bad Breath

How to Prevent Bad Breath

Bad breath can be unpleasant and sometimes embarrassing.  The morning, onions, garlic, smoke, and gum disease are all variables that can cause bad breath either momentarily or habitually.  Drs. Versman, Heller & Beckman specialize in treating gum disease which is a huge contributing factor to bad breath, also known as halitosis; however, Periodontal Associates wants to share with you some more common and daily rituals that can help defend against sour oral odors.

An easy edible routine to defend against halitosis can be as simple as eating yogurt daily.  Why yogurt you may ask?  Yogurt contains live active cultures and they defend against foul odor causing compounds like hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide, which smells like rotten eggs, is a product released by gum disease causing bacteria.  Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman suggest eating six ounces of yogurt a day to help fight this problem.


Green tea is also proven to fight against bad breath.  Periodontal Associates offers a beverage bar in our Aurora office containing green tea as one of the options, and there is no mistake in that. This popular Chinese tea contains antioxidants that also help reduce the amount of bacteria. Not only does this super food help with olfactory offenses, but it can also help reduce the risk of tooth decay and some oral cancers.

To continue with the theme of eating away bad breath, vegetables contain physical properties that help exfoliate teeth.  Dr. Ken Versman, Dr. Doug Heller, and Dr. Eric Beckman want to remind you that a toothbrush is more effective than scrubbing with veggies, but vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, carrots, and celery naturally remove debris and plaque that can lead to bacteria growth and smelly breath.

Hydration is a big key in maintaining overall health, but swishing water can dilute the sugar, starch, and acid in the mouth.  This dilution helps reduce plaque, and again, Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman love to greet you with cold bottles of water from our beverage station.

The next important step is flossing.  Periodontal Associates has trained hygienists who specialize in treating gum disease, and one of the most important questions they ask patients is if they are flossing regularly.  Flossing is a frequently forgotten routine, but it is critical to remember as flossing removes bacteria that cause decay.  When bacteria are left to linger in the mouth’s crevices, the gums are more likely to experience periodontal disease and thus, bad breath.  There is no excuse to skip flossing, and if you are in need, stop by our Aurora, CO office to pick some up.

In between teeth is not the only place that needs a little TLC as the tongue is a central part of maintaining pleasant breath and a clean mouth.  The tongue contains bacteria that can contaminate teeth after brushing and flossing.  Tongues have over 500 different types of bacteria, and bad breath occurs when all of those bad bacteria, food particles, and other things sit on the back of the tongue.

All of the prior suggestions are great ways to help prevent and maintain a healthy mouth. However, more than 75% of Americans suffer from gum disease, and there is only one way to care for periodontal disease and its consequence of bad breath. Periodontists like Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman specialize in treating this silent disease.Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums and bone surrounding your teeth.  Some common signs are persistent bad breath caused by bacteria in the mouth, pus around the teeth and gums (sign that there is an infection present), red and puffy gums, and tenderness or discomfort caused by plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritating the gums and teeth.

Do any of these signs of gum disease sound familiar? Please do not hesitate to contactPeriodontal Associates in Aurora, CO today! We welcome patients from all surrounding Denver metro areas and even some from outside of Colorado.  Our doctors, Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman, are specially trained and skilled to fight periodontal disease as well as provide dental implants. Please call us at (303) 755-4500 or click here for an appointment.  For more information about Periodontal Associates, please visit our website at www.periodontalhealth.com.  We look forward to helping you with your questions, treating your gum disease, providing your dental implants, or simply curing your bad breath!