Flossing: Tips and Techniques to Keep Your Teeth and Gums Clean
For over a century, flossing has been a recommended and essential part of a strong oral hygiene routine. However, many people either don’t floss or don’t feel confident in the way that they floss. Flossing does 40% of the work when it comes to cleaning our teeth. There are 5 different surfaces on our teeth, and flossing is the only true way to reach the surfaces on each side of each tooth.
In addition, flossing is arguably the best way to care for our gums and prevent gum disease. By flossing, we dislodge and remove food debris and bacteria, known as plaque, from in between our teeth. This is something that brushing cannot achieve. In most cases, the bristles of your toothbrush cannot reach narrow, small pockets between the teeth.
By removing food particles and plaque, flossing is a great way to prevent cavities and gum disease. Plaque emits acids that cause cavities and irritate the gums. This plaque builds up over time by feeding on food particles left over after eating. If not removed, this plaque can cause tooth decay and other serious oral health hazards.
Now that we have established the importance and benefits of flossing, let’s identify ways to keep your smile perfect and white.
Tip One: Floss Once A Day
You have probably heard it said that you should brush your teeth twice a day – once in the morning, once at night. When it comes to flossing, we recommend a once-per-day approach. You are free to floss during the time of day that best accommodates your schedule – morning, afternoon or evening.
Flossing at night may be most advantageous for you, because it allows you to remove all the food you ate throughout the day for a clean mouth before bed.
Tip Two: Floss Before You Brush
Many people make the mistake of flossing after they brush. It is proper to floss before you brush because the floss is what will dislodge hard-to-reach food particles and plaque. Brushing will assist in expunging these particles from your mouth completely.
Tip Three: Use the Proper Amount & Type of Floss
Every mouth is different. Some people have teeth with large gaps between each tooth, while others have teeth that are tightly packed together. The type of floss you use should depend on how your teeth respond. For those with teeth separated farther apart, use wide, flat floss to cover more surface area. On the other hand, those with less space between each tooth should use thin floss to reach into compact spaces.
When flossing, the best technique is to use about 15-18 inches of floss, holding it between your index fingers and thumbs to create a strong string you can glide between each tooth. This method will help you get the best handle on your floss and allow you to use new sections of floss for each tooth.
Studies show no difference between waxed and unwaxed floss. Feel free to use the one that feels best to you.
Tip Four: Floss in a “C” Formation
The perfect flossing technique involves pushing the floss down in between each tooth to the gumline, and then scraping each side of the tooth up and down in a “C” formation. To create the “C” formation, make sure the floss is already at the gumline in the pocket between the teeth. Then, pull or push the floss around the tooth to ensure that you are cleaning every part of the tooth’s surface.
Tip Five: A Little Blood Never Killed Anyone
If you find that your gums are bleeding as you floss, don’t worry. This most likely means that your gums are irritated due to a bacterial build up. The more you floss, the less blood you should see. If your bleeding persists, it may be time to see your dentist.
The Right Dental Partner for You
Strong flossing habits are only a small portion of a healthy dental routine. Partner with Summer Dental in Las Vegas, to fortify an oral health regimen with regular dental checkups and cleanings. Our in-house team of dental specialists is ready to satisfy any of your immediate or long-term dental needs, to protect your smile and improve your well-being. Schedule your same-day appointment today or call (702) 852-2829.