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Dentistry/foods that don't require much flossing?


Silly question but I'll ask anyway. I have a dental appointment this month to get a thorough cleaning. The appt. is at 2:00. I would eat and floss before I go, but have sensitive gums and don't want them flossed by the hygienist again soon after. ButI don't want a bunch of food between my teeth when I get there either. Besides just liquid, are there any foods I could eat before the appt.that wouldn't get between my teeth and require flossing? Thanks

Hi Lee and thanks for your question.

As I am sure you can appreciate the difficulty in giving you any definitive answers due to huge inter-personal differences one finds with gaps between teeth, tooth composition which affects the porosity and external adhesion of substances to teeth, saliva flow and the natural wash-effect it creates, etc. And these factors, and so many more, influence which foods get retained after eating and to what degree.  I think you should maybe shift your focus here.... don't be too concerned about what foods are going to be left between your teeth before a hygienist appointment - believe me, there is very little that dental professionals haven't seen and I personally would be much happier to spend 5 mins quickly removing non-pathogenic debris, such as food, than to sit for 45 mins and descale a mouth full of tartar which has built up on the teeth over the past year, where the gums are red, swollen, inflamed and bleed on touching.

I understand that your gums might be sensitive and the thought of having them flossed again later that day could make you anxious and somewhat apprehensive.  Discuss this openly and honestly with your hygienist and maybe an alternative such as a water-pik could be used to flush the inter-dental out instead.  Take your toothbrush with you on the day of your appointment and have a good brush before you see her and that usually removes 90% of "new", loose debris. An important part of the hygienists clean, is to end off with a good floss of all the teeth, to ensure that the contact points between the teeth are clean and clear of any plaque and/or tartar. Perhaps consider skipping flossing as part of your home care for that particular day.  Chewing gum after meals also aids in flushing out any trapped debris.

I hope this helps and I wish you a pleasant and uneventful hygienist appointment,  take care.

Kind regards
Dr Craig Peck


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Dr Craig W Peck ( B.Med.Sc., B.Ch.D., Clin. Botox, Cosmet. Derm.)


I am a General Dental Practitioner, with special interests in Cosmetic Dentistry & facial aesthetics and Periodontology, placing a strong emphasis on the establishment and maintenance of a healthy periodontium (the support structure of the tooth) before cosmetic options are considered. I uphold all principles of prevention above interventional treatment and try as far as possible, to remain conservative in my approach. I believe in detailed, open and honest patient discussion, establishing what the patients expectations are and what the reality is of achieving this and involving the patient at every level of the treatment. I have strong principles on ethical treatment and appropriate patient management. I have chosen to treat and rehabilitate many nervous and phobic patients, who, for whatever reason, find it impossible to take part in the very important task of even a routine check-up. I will accept questions relating to general and cosmetic dentistry (in conjunction with the use of facial cosmetic procedures) and dental fears/phobias. I will be more than willing to answer any academic questions in dentistry, biology, physiology, psychology and health sciences in general. As most dentists will tell you, there is often not only one way of dealing with a dental issue - so very often, there is no precise right and wrong way of approaching the problem. All clinicians vary when it comes to treatments and what works best in their hands is often the treatment that is advised. Be understanding of this and bear in mind that nothing lasts forever! Patients are happy to accept only a one-years warrantee when buying a new car, but seem to expect that dental work is going to last them their lifetime.


I have worked for many years in the UK and RSA as a general dental practitioner - within the NHS, private practice and the government dental health services. I am certificated for the administration of Botox and Dermal Fillers for facial lines and wrinkles as I have attended further courses in minimally invasive facial cosmetic procedures. I started seeing an increasing number of patients who presented with severe to moderate dental fears, even with full-blown phobias, so I started with the slow and patient task of tackling this problem and have successfully rehabilitated many patients. The key is good, effective, concise and understandable communication, shifting control from the dentist to the patient in order to slowly, but confidently, regain their trust back in dentistry, thereby giving them the feeling of achievement and this self-empowerment which drives them to the next level of treatment.

Academy of General Dentistry. American Dental Education Association. IAPAM (International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine). Professional Speakers, Writers and Managements Consultants in Dentistry. The British Dental Association. UK Aesthetics Group. ARC - Aesthetic Professionals. Botox. Aesthetics & Beauty. American Association for Dental Research. FDI - World Dental Federation. SOURCE1uk. World Dental Hygiene Forum. ProDentalCPD. Public Health Dentistry. Dentist Network. LinkedIn. Who's Who of South Africa.

B.Med.Sc. Degree (Medical Physiology and Medical Virology; Physiology Cum Laude; Stell 1994). B.Ch.D. Degree (Bachelor of Dental Surgery; Clinical Dentistry Cum Laude; Stell 1997). CPR and CPR-Advanced Courses (2000/2001; UK). Clinical Botox (UK, 2001). Cosmetic Dermatology (Botox and Dermal Fillers; RSA 2011).

Awards and Honors
Placed on the Dean's List at University for academic achievement (1994). Highest achievement in the subject Dental Materials. Medal from 3M and the Radiology Association of South Africa for highest achievement in the subject Dental Radiology and Imaging. Medal from The Periodontal Association of South Africa for highest achievement in the subject Periodontology. Highest achievement for Oral Medicine. Highest achievement in Oral Pathology. Received the DASA (Dental Ass. of South Africa) Gold Medal for highest achieving dental student across the 5 1/2 years of the Degree. Passed the subject, Clinical Dentistry with distinction in final year.

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