There’s no denying it: Flossing is one of the most important oral hygiene habits to practice. Unfortunately, many people either don’t floss correctly or don’t floss at all. Flossing is essential to remove harmful bacteria and reduce plaque build-up between teeth.
Find the Right Floss
Most floss types are thin, nylon strands that get pulled between teeth in an up-and-down motion. You can find a standard waxed floss that will do the trick. There’s also unwaxed floss available on the market with polytetrafluorethylene to make it easier for the floss to glide between teeth.
There are plenty of options out there besides the traditional string floss; you could buy charcoal floss or dental tape. While marketing efforts pawn off charcoal floss as the next best oral health tool, it’s best to use it sparingly; too much charcoal can wear down your enamel over time.
Dental tape comes in a large sheet of plastic material with thin fibres running through it. Most people have difficulty using this type of dental product, but it does help remove food debris and plaque. There are also disposable floss picks available that some people find easier to use.
Remember, whenever you see a seal of acceptance from the American Dental Association (ADA), it means the product is generally safe to use.
Use the Right Flossing Technique
Implementing a proper flossing technique can work wonders when trying to remove plaque and food particles.
How To Floss
Don’t worry. Many people struggle with nailing the best flossing technique. Here’s a step-by-step guide to flossing with string floss:
- Remove roughly 18 inches of floss from the container.
- Wrap one end of the floss around your index finger and the other end between the index and thumb of your alternate hand. Ensure there are 5 cm/2 inches of floss for your teeth.
- Glide the floss up and down your teeth.
- Try to avoid driving the floss into your gums
- Curve the floss into a C shape to reach the spaces between your teeth and gums.
- Repeat these steps as you move from tooth to tooth from one side of the mouth to the other. Make sure to use a different part of the floss each time.
Floss Once a Day
You should regularly floss your teeth once a day, along with brushing twice daily for 2 minutes (remember that fluoride toothpaste!). Keeping up with a flossing routine will ensure you stay on top of your oral health and decrease the risk of dental issues like cavities or gingivitis.
The hardest part about flossing your teeth is being consistent. Remember, it doesn’t take that much time out of your day, and the sooner you get it done, the faster it’s over with. Think about all the money and pain you’ll save on cavity fillings and other dental work.
Try to avoid flossing between your teeth too hard. Too many rough back-and-forth motions could dig into your gums and damage them. If you’re just now getting into the habit of flossing, you may see some slight gum bleeding, but that’s okay. It’s just a natural part of beginning your new oral hygiene routine. However, if you notice that you constantly have bleeding gums after brushing or flossing, it could mean that you’re applying too much pressure.
Don’t Neglect the Back Teeth
Sometimes you might get caught up flossing the front teeth because you don’t want people to see the bits of broccoli you just had for lunch. Other times, you may just have difficulty reaching the back of your mouth. The point is that you shouldn’t neglect your back teeth when flossing. If you struggle with flossing your back teeth, try using a disposable floss pick.
Tired of Floss? Try a Water Flosser
If you can’t get the handle of regular floss, you could try a water flosser. Water flossers are handheld devices that shoot water between your teeth. A water flosser needs to be plugged into an electrical outlet, and you’ll have to keep the water tank filled, but it’s a fun alternative if you don’t like flossing between your teeth. Keep in mind that water flossing is not as effective as manual flossing and should ideally be adjunctive to the latter.
While flossing and brushing your teeth is the key to fantastic oral health, you should still visit your dentist in Winnipeg for routine check-ups and teeth cleaning. Our dental office is always here when you need our services. Contact us to book your next appointment, and we’ll assure you walk away with a smile.