Sure, you brush your teeth every day, but what about the other half of your dental regime? Flossing is an essential part of dental care; however, a recent study has shown that only 30% of people floss daily, and 32% do not floss at all. We want to change those numbers with this simple guide!
We will show you how to floss your teeth and answer some other questions along the way. Let’s get started!
Why You Should Floss
First things first, let’s get into why flossing needs to be apart of your daily routine. Flossing helps to remove food particles that are stuck between your teeth that your toothbrush cannot get. If your teeth do not get flossed, then the food can accumulate bacteria, leading to plaque.
Plaque can become problematic as it builds up in your mouth. It can cause issues from cavities to tooth decay and more. Flossing also helps reduce Gingivitis’s chances, which is a disease of the gums that can cause complications down the line.
When You Should Floss
As we said, flossing helps to loosen the food debris between your teeth, so considering that you are eating each day you will want to make sure you are flossing as well! It is recommended that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once. It is better to floss first and then follow up by brushing your teeth.
If you are only going to floss once per day, consider making it a part of your nightly routine after eating your last meal of the day.
Types of Floss
Not all floss is created equally! There are a wide variety of brands and types of floss available on the market.
The first type of floss is called Dental Tape. This type of floss is flat and ribbon-like in appearance. This floss’s broad design makes it easy to use and ideal for people with larger spaces between their teeth and those with braces.
Standard Floss is the more common type of floss on the market. It is made from nylon and is much thinner than Dental Tape. This type of floss has various options such as flavored floss and waxed and unwaxed options.
Waxed Floss is a better choice for anyone with tight or crowded teeth. Standard Floss is not always the best choice for anyone with braces though.
Finally, Super Floss is a type of floss that is heavy-duty. It is ideal for people with dental work such as fixed bridges or braces because its design has three components. There is a stiffened end, a sponge-like section, and then regular floss. This type of floss can clean the gums and braces with ease.
Other Flossing Equipment
Toothpicks with a flossing attachment are another option for flossing. They are equipped with a toothpick on one end and then a small line of floss secured by two plastic pieces at the other end. They are ideal for reaching teeth far back in the mouth, and they are convenient for on-the-go flossing after a meal.
Water flossing tools are another option for a deeper clean. This type of flosser uses pressurized water to eliminate plaque and food debris from the teeth and gum line.
How to Floss Your Teeth
So you know the tools that you will need, and when you need to do it, now let’s talk about how to do it! Here are the steps:
- Spool off around 18 inches of the dental floss of your liking.
- Wrap the floss around your middle fingers until only around 2 inches is left between them.
- While firmly holding the floss with your index finger and thumb, start to gently move the floss in a C-Shape up and around each tooth avoiding flossing the gum in a back and forth motion.
- Repeat the process on all of your teeth, using a clean section of floss each time.
When you reach your gum line, you should be gently working the floss between the delicate area between your tooth and gum. Avoid using any sawing motions as you could damage your gums. Once you have finished flossing, either brush your teeth or use an antibacterial mouthwash.
Always make sure to floss your teeth in front of a mirror. This will help you better visualize the area you are flossing, which could help prevent any injury to your teeth or gums.
When it comes to buying floss, you should do your best not to skimp on the floss’ quality. Cheaper flosses are made with lower quality materials, and they could easily fray. When the floss frays, it can get stuck in between your teeth and cause injury to your gum, so save yourself the trouble and buy a reputable brand.
When to Visit a Dentist
If you are new to flossing, you will most likely see a little blood when you first start getting into a new routine. This can be due to any number of things, from vitamin deficiency to Anemia; however, more often than not, it is due to the fact that you have a mild build-up of plaque or mild Gingivitis.
Aggressive or incorrect flossing can also cause bleeding, so make sure you follow this guide! The more you floss, the healthier your mouth will become, and the bleeding should stop. With that being said, if you have excessive or prolonged bleeding, it could be a sign of a more serious health issue like Periodontal Disease, which would require immediate attention from your dentist.
Keeping Your Mouth Healthy
Now that you know how to floss your teeth, you can be on your way to a happier and healthier smile! This simple guide will help you find the right floss and utilize the right technique with ease.
Good overall health starts in your mouth! Our team is here to help you achieve optimum dental health, from helping you get back your pearly smile to managing routine check-ups. Visit us today to get your next appointment on the books!