Flossing Tips : Good Oral Hygiene Done Right
By William Stofer on June 22, 2018
Flossing seems like such a hassle sometimes, yet it is an important part of fighting cavities and preventing gum disease. Brushing alone will not get at the spaces between the teeth right at the gumline.
The team at our Warsaw, IN dental practice believes that good general dentistry is based in solid oral hygiene and preventative care. With that in mind, let’s share the following tips on proper flossing. It may seem like obvious advice, but it’s always helpful to review the basics.
How Often Should I Floss?
People should floss at least once a day. Ideally, you should consider flossing after every meal. Flossing after each meal will remove all food particles and plaque from around the teeth, keeping your teeth as clean as possible all day long.
Should I Floss Before or After I Brush My Teeth?
While you may have a preference from flossing before or after you brush your teeth, it generally does not matter. So long as you brush and floss, you’re doing good. Be sure to rinse after you floss no matter the order, however, as this helps remove any dislodged food particles or plaque.
What Kind of Floss Should I Used?
There are two kinds of floss out there: nylon floss (monofilament) and PTFE floss (multifilament). Both types of floss are good at cleaning the teeth, so the ideal type really depends on your preference and which feels most comfortable to you.
The Right Amount of Floss
When flossing your teeth, you should use about 18 inches of floss, with an inch or two between fingers to work with. Be sure to use a clean portion of the floss as you move from tooth to tooth. This enhances the quality of cleaning.
The Proper Motion When Flossing
When you place the floss between your teeth, be sure to curve the floss around the tooth, wiggling and working your way from the gumline to the top of the crown of the tooth. Repeat this motion the entire time to get each tooth as clean as you possible can.
Be Gentle Yet Thorough
Avoid snapping the floss down and sawing between your teeth as you floss. The damage done to the gumline can result in gum recession if you aren’t careful. Being gentle and thorough is always best.
Flossing with Braces: Threaders Are Crucial
If you have braces or any other kind of orthodontic/dental appliances that make it difficult to floss, be sure to invest in some inexpensive threaders. These make it easier to work floss around brackets and wires so you can keep your teeth healthy and clean.
Super Floss for Big Spaces and Gaps
If you have big gaps between teeth, dental implants, or orthodontic appliances, you may be told to use super floss. This type of floss as a larger section with fuzzy material that helps delicately brush and clean around big spaces.
Parents: Help Your Young Children with Flossing
Young children have difficulty flossing teeth on their own. That’s why parents should help their children floss. In general, a child should be able to floss on their own by 10. Before that age, parents should assist with daily/nightly oral hygiene practices. This could help your child develop lasting habits that keep their teeth and gums healthy for years.
Learn More About Oral Hygiene
To learn more about improving your oral hygiene and helping your smile be its healthiest, be sure to contact an experienced cosmetic and restorative dentist. We can discuss brushing flossing, and other topics in dental care to help you smile look its best.
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